Thursday, April 20, 2023
Everyone is reeling from the increase in property tax
assessments. What many don’t realize is that 52% of the Fairfax County
budget goes to schools. I am a product of Maryland public schools and
my kids attended FCPS all grades. I have always been a staunch
supporter of public schools but that doesn’t mean taxpayers shouldn’t be
asking how the money is being spent. Consider,
* FCPS has a $3.4 billion budget. Twenty years ago, the FCPS budget was
$1.55 billion. The budget has increased on average $1 million per year
or 6% year over year.
* The FCPS budget has increased 3x the rate of enrollment since 2000
despite recent declines in enrollment.
* FCPS asked for a 7% increase this year taking the budget to $3.5
billion despite an enrollment drop of 11,000 students, the largest drop
of any county in Virginia.
* Despite increases in spending, the pass rate of FCPS SOL scores have
dropped 16% since 2018.
* SOL pass rates for minority students have decreased over 20%
between 2008 and 2018 exacerbating the achievement gap.
* Between 2018 and 2022, the average FCPS SAT score dropped 27 points, while Virginia SAT scores increased 14 points. Compared to our
neighbors, Prince William scores fell only 7 points, Loudoun dropped by
6 points, and Montgomery County, Md. scores increased 58 points. FCPS
average SAT scores are at their lowest level since 1989-1993.
The taxpayers in Fairfax County should question the impact of FCPS
spending on student outcomes. Clearly increased spending in our schools
has not resulted in better outcomes and higher student achievement.
This increased spending in our school system cannot go unchecked at the
expense of its citizens being taxed out of the area and unaffordable for