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Schools: Supervisors left $1.3 million hole in school budget

The Prince William School System released the following statement, shortly after the Board of County Supervisors voted to cap the tax rate.

Schools: Supervisors left $1.3 million hole in school budget

Advertised Tax Rate Means $1.3 Million Revenue Shortfall for 2013-14"
The Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) voted Tuesday to advertise a county tax rate lower than required to support Superintendent Walt’s proposed 2013-14 budget.

The decision means an estimated loss of at least $1.3 million in county revenue to the School Division next year, and roughly $22 million over five years—more exact estimates will follow shortly.

The reduction requires cuts in the proposed budget and shrinks the plan ultimately approved by the Prince William County School Board.

As originally proposed, the Superintendent's proposal:

Maintained Educational Programs & Services
Anticipated nearly 2,100 new students
Funded extensive school construction, expansion, and repairs
Provided employee raises—with no anticipated layoffs
Faced an uncertain fate due to county/state funding questions.

Some uncertainty remains, as more reductions are possible. By law, the BOCS advertised tax rate cannot be increased; but it can be lowered when Supervisors adopt a final tax package in approximately ten weeks.

The advertised rate (though lower than this year’s) will cause tax bills to rise by an average 3.5% in contrast with the 4% increase included in the county’s approved five-year plan. At BOCS direction, revenue generated by the higher tax bill was the foundation for the Superintendent’s budget proposal.

WIth lower revenues, overall per pupil spending and other expenditures detailed in the proposed budget will decline.
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