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January 30, 2014 Published in Schools

Interim ACPS Superintendent Unveils FY 2015 Proposed Budget

Interim Superintendent Of Alexandria City Public Schools Alvin L. Crawley (Courtesy photo)

Interim Superintendent Of Alexandria City Public Schools Alvin L. Crawley (Courtesy photo)

Alexandria City Public Schools Interim Superintendent Alvin L. Crawley tonight presented the school division's fiscal year 2015 proposed operating budget of $234,947,769, an increase of 3.3%, or $7.61 million over the adjusted FY 2014 approved operating budget. Additionally, Crawley presented the FY 2015 proposed combined funds budget of $252.82 million, a 2.7% increase from the adjusted FY 2014 approved combined funds budget, which includes $10.95 million in grants and $6.92 million in school nutrition funds. The proposal includes a request for a City of Alexandria appropriation of $193,035,931, an increase of $7,424,459 or 4.0% from FY 2014.

"Moving the division forward in preparing students for the 21st century is our goal in developing this budget," Crawley said. “My colleagues and I are champions for students at all times, especially while developing a budget that allocates resources to our highest priorities. When facing increasing enrollments, aging facilities and a need to support and challenge all students now more than ever before, we have put our money behind our commitments.”

Enrollment for school year 2014-15 is projected to reach 14,171, an increase of 548 students over the current enrollment. Per pupil cost in FY 2015 is proposed at $17,249, down from $17,350 in FY 2014. ACPS has the most diverse student population and the highest number of students (59%) who are eligible for free and reduced-price meals in Northern Virginia.

Crawley indicated that the proposed budget is designed to support the division’s strategic plan goals and the specific division budget priorities adopted by the Alexandria City School Board:  K-12 literacy, disproportionate identification among some groups for special education and talented and gifted programs, and unequal rates of suspension across racial groups.

“We remain committed to raising student achievement among all students and eliminating gaps between groups. Our goal is to align our resources to support areas that are preventing this school division from closing gaps in achievement and from the recognition for excellence it so richly deserves,” Crawley said.  

“The bottom line for ACPS is that there is a funding gap,” Crawley said. “This gap has driven the reductions in this budget and created an inability to provide salary for staff or to fund new budget requests from schools and departments. Funding less than the requested level will result in additional cuts in services to our students.”

Crawley identified the following budget drivers:

  • Enrollment continues to increase at 3-4% each year, requiring differentiated supports and services.
  • The requested $7.4 million from the City addresses enrollment increases and a portion of other mandated benefit costs (Virginia Retirement System and short-term disability)
  • The funding gap of $6.2 million has been closed through efficiencies, school and central office cuts, redirection of resources and the elimination of a compensation adjustment for staff.

Crawley concluded that the inability to fund the budget at the requested level will result in additional cuts in instructional supports and services to students. He identified enrollment-driven instructional staffing and VRS employer contribution increases (from 11.66 to 14.50%) as key factors in the growth of the FY 2015 budget. 

The public can view budget information and submit questions and comments at http://www.acps.k12.va.us/budgets. A list of budget work sessions and public hearings is also available on the ACPS website.

 

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