Have you got something to say about the Fairfax County Public Schools budget for Fiscal Year 2014?
Tuesday is the first chance of several over the next two months to share your perspective.
The community dialogue, which begins at 6 p.m. in the Gatehouse Administration Center Cafe in Falls Church, is an effort revamped this year to be more inclusive of all residents — not just specific county groups.
School board member Ryan McElveen (At-large) said last year, the school board invited community groups to a similar dialogue, setting them at a roundtable for a budget presentation and then breaking them into two groups tasked with forming a list of budget priorities.
This year, the board is inviting specific community groups as well as the community at large to the community dialogue. Attendees will get to ask questions in a Q+A session before breaking into multiple small groups, also tasked with creating a list of budget priorities to report back to the larger group.
The school board pledged earlier in the budget cycle to make this year's process more open, and easy to understand.
But the county may not be able to afford as much of its annual transfer as the school board hoped for.
The board asked for an increase in transfer of 5.5 percent, or $95 million, for a total of $1.78 billion in funding.
County Executive Ed Long said last month he only anticipated being able to give an increase of 2 percent, or $33.7 million.
Outgoing superintendent Jack Dale met with county supervisors Tuesday in the first of several budget talks, saying that transfer could not keep pace with the growing enrollment of the county's schools.
“We’re just growing too much,” Dale told supervisors while detailing FCPS’ $2.5 billion Fiscal Year 2014 budget.
Dale will present his budget to the board to supervisors formally April 9.
After the supervisors approve the county's budget — including a schools transfer — April 30, the school board will return to the budget table to adjust its plan based on the resources available.
For the full budget calendar, including public hearings and work sessions, click here.