Prince William Co. Schools Brace for Enrollment Spike

WASHINGTON — An already-crowded school system is expecting another spike in enrollment next year. School leaders in Prince William County said they were expecting an additional 2,400 students in the next school year as they outlined their proposed budget.

“We have seen a substantial growth in enrollment compared to the past several years,” said Dave Cline, associate superintendent for finance and support services for Prince William County Public Schools.

Enrollment in Prince William County Public Schools is expected to reach nearly 91,000 students next year, an increase of almost 3 percent.

The rise in enrollment has left the school system trying to reduce class sizes and fight overcrowding. Though the school district has slightly reduced its number of portable classrooms, it still has more than 200 of the temporary-building classrooms.

“This is not the budget of our dreams, but it will fund student success,” said Superintendent Steven Walts.

When it comes to issues such as class size, Walts maintained they have been able to make small gains. However “with anticipated per-pupil funding still among the lowest in the Washington, D.C. metro area, making bigger strides will be difficult,” he said.

The $1.14 billion budget would boost employee pay by 2 percent.

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