Email Update: Stafford County Schools budget

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

We are continuing to work through the budget for Stafford County Schools, and I wanted to update you on where we are for Fiscal Year 2015.   Last month the School Board presented our funding request to the county Board of Supervisors as they worked to determine the tax rate and developed the budget for the entire county.   Our request included funding for new buses, a compensation increase for our employees and other priorities we would like to fund.

The Board of Supervisors, continuing their tradition of being fiscally responsible with our tax dollars, set a real estate tax rate that ensures taxes would not increase for most homeowners.  They set the tax rate at $1.019 per $100 of assessed value.   As a taxpayer I am pleased our Board of Supervisors continue to keep our taxes low.  As a member of the School Board it does mean we have to make significant cuts to our budget.  In our requested budget we requested funding of just over $272 million which was roughly $19 million over last year’s approved budget.

Earlier this week the Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Benson presented some options to members of the School Board for potential cuts, and adjustments.  Over the coming weeks the School Board will work through our budget and make changes to make our budget balance.   

A list of all proposed changes to the budget can be found here.

In total the Superintendent’s proposed changes would cut over $17 million from our requested budget.  There are several items on his proposals that will be discussed and we will decide whether to move forward with his request or make other changes.   Several members of the School Board expressed concern that there were no proposed cuts within the central office of the school division.  Members are concerned that many of the cuts we will have to make will affect classrooms.  Many of us want to reduce the burden  and negative effects on our classrooms.  In order to do so we have asked the Superintendent to look at central office for additional reductions to include a 6% reduction in operating costs within the central office.  

Budgets are never easy processes.  Whether it is a family budget or budget for a school division, we want to make sure we are making wise decisions and always remember our task is to be good stewards of your money.   In doing so we want to continue to improve our school system and ensure we are providing a quality education to our students and prepare them for life after high school graduation.

Although, this year is tough on our budget I continue to be encouraged about our future, and that is mostly due to presence of Dr. Benson as Superintendent.   Dr. Benson not only has a vision of making Stafford County Schools great, but he has plan to get us there.   He approaches challenges with a strategic eye to make continuous improvements to develop an organization that is efficient and produces a quality product.  As he is able to settle into his job I am confident we are going to see significant changes in Stafford County Schools.   I am truly looking forward to working with him in the coming years to make these necessary changes happen.  

On another note, tonight we recognized many teachers who were selected as their school's teacher of the year and our county-wide teachers of the year.   I am excited to report a teacher from a school in the Falmouth District was name First Year Teacher of the Year for the County.  Mrs. Nina Passmore a 2nd Grade teacher at Conway Elementary was selected as First Year Teacher of the Year.  For anyone who knows Mrs. Passmore, you know this a well deserved award.   Congratulations to all award winners.  I have listed teachers at schools in the Falmouth District that received awards on my Facebook page.

Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week. Many of our schools are doing special events for teachers throughout the week.  Check with your school for how you can help thank the teachers for the work they do.

I would like to hear from you on your thoughts about Stafford County Schools, the school budget  or any other thoughts or concerns you have about our school division.   You can reach me via my website at and on Facebook.

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@scotthirons tweeted this page. 2014-05-02 07:43:18 -0400
Scott Hirons, Stafford County School Board - Falmouth District posted about Email Update: Stafford County Schools budget on Scott Hirons, Stafford County School Board - Falmouth District's Facebook page 2014-05-02 07:43:18 -0400
Email Update: Stafford County Schools budget

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