Fairfax Schools Plan Includes 600 Cuts

Salary freezes, other cuts are possible

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Jack Dale has laid out his plan to deal with a $176 million budget shortfall.

    Dale's budget proposal calls for eliminating 600 positions and increasing the district's average class size by one student.

    It also calls for reductions in teacher training programs, a district-wide salary freeze for the second straight year, and the elimination of winter cheerleading, indoor track, and all freshman athletics.

    A Tough Lesson: School Sports & Program Cuts Proposed

    [DC] A Tough Lesson: School Sports & Program Cuts Proposed
    Fairfax County school superintendent Jack Dale is proposing sports and academic program cuts, and sports fees, to balance the districts budget for next year.

    Dale said he knows these cuts will be hard for the staff to take.

    "I think it contributes to a demoralizing effect," Dale said. "They look at the quality of work that they're doing, and they see another round of cuts coming, and it affects the psyche," Dale said.

    Board members have been discussing the budget for months, and say Dale's plan was not surprising, but some say they're still prepared to fight for certain programs.

    Board Chair Kathy Smith said she's partial to foreign language instruction for elementary students, a program that would go if Dale's plan is adopted.

    "I will definitely be fighting for that program, absolutely," Smith said. "One of the things that's great about that -- it's every kid in the school, it's not just a special program for a few kids."

    Not up for elimination is full-day kindergarten, which the district adopted just a few years ago.

    But Dale said that could change. His proposal depends partly on funding from the county and the state -- they're both dealing with their own deficits.

    Listen to the complete story at wamu.org

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