School News

Alexandria City School Board Approves Budget for Staff Compensation

School Board Chair Meagan L. Alderton with Superintendent Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings Jr. (Photo: Grace Billups Arnold/The Zebra Press)

ALEXANDRIA, VA–On Feb. 10, 2022, the Alexandria City School Board voted to approve the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Combined Funds Budget, after its initial proposal on Jan. 6, 2022.

I thank the School Board for approving our FY 2023 Budget that makes it possible for our school division to keep investing in the future of our students and in our staff who work so hard to help our students learn and thrive,  said Superintendent Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.

This $345.8 million budget is focused on staff compensation, the improvement of out-of-school learning, and social, emotional and academic supports for students from preschool through grade 12.

As reported in The Zebra on Jan. 7, staff compensation will include a competitive salary and benefits program, an average 2.6% salary step increase and a market rate adjustment of 2.5% for eligible staff, and a 2% one-time payment of base salary for those who are not eligible. ACPS said these changes will enable them to continue “to recruit and retain high-quality staff.”

Chief Financial Officer Dominic Turner stated: “This budget strives to strengthen our recruitment and retention efforts by raising teacher pay by more than 5%, maintaining high-quality healthcare benefits, and providing resources for staff to grow their careers.”

The budget also provides increased support for maintaining and improving learning spaces, support for grades K-4 literacy, equitable Talented and Gifted (TAG) identification of Black and Hispanic students, and high school graduation rates among Hispanic male students, and the expanded access and improve the quality of out-of-school learning.

While virtual learning has allowed staff to reimagine educational opportunities and instructional delivery, it has also posed social and emotional challenges for staff and students. Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds, which are part of this combined budget, will continue to aid in the recovery of learning loss and address trauma experienced during the pandemic.

In 2021, ACPS experienced the all-time highest graduation rate of 91% and the school division’s lowest dropout rate ever of 5% in 2021. These funds will help to continue to further and build upon that remarkable number.

The School Board thanks community members who shared their input with us during this budget process, said School Board Chair Meagan L. Alderton. We value our partnership with the superintendent, staff, the city manager and the Alexandria City Council to ensure we have a school division budget that allows ACPS to continue to support its students and families, retain highly qualified staff, and provide the tools for our students’ academic and social-emotional learning needs.

In keeping with its commitment to place racial equity at the heart of all its decision-making, the School Board’s Approved Budget supports the continued focus and implementation of the 2025 Strategic Plan: Equity for All. A summary of the budget process can be found on the ACPS Budget webpage. View the School Board memo with information on the budget (PDF) from the Feb. 10, 2022 Board meeting.

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