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Fairfax Co. Public Schools Superintendent Proposes Smaller Pay Raises for Teachers – NBC Washington DC (44)

The superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools had hoped to give 6% raises across the board, but says that will likely be reduced to 3% after the county failed to provide the funding she requested.

FCPS Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid asked the county for the largest funding increase in history, according to Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay. She wanted an increase of more than $250 million to fund essential programs and provide 6% wage increases.

The county gave the school district an additional $165 million, Reid told the school board.

“One of the goals of our budget proposal had been to catapult beginning teacher salaries and, again, beginning master’s degree teacher salaries to number one in our region; however, as a result of significantly lower funding levels than requested, our improvement in starting salaries will be somewhat more measured,” Reid said.

Local teachers unions say the county should have assigned the superintendent’s request.

“If you really want to show that you value your educators, you value the people who work in the school system, then you need to fully fund us,” said Fairfax Education Association President Leslie Houston.

The school district’s budget is not finalized, and McKay said in a statement to News4 that “it is now up to the elected School Board to prioritize its spending for next year.”

School Board member Mateo Dunne seemed to agree and suggested the raises should be prioritized.

“I’m just trying to understand the 3% across the board,” he said. “It doesn’t solve the problem.”

The U.S. Department of Education estimates that Virginia lost 0.7% of its public education staff this year after losing 3.5% in 2023.

“We have people burning out in the profession,” said Fairfax County Federation of Teachers President David Walrod. “We have people who say, ‘I can’t do this anymore.'”

The school board continues to work on the budget this week.

Fairfax County Teachers Union representatives believe they are close to finalizing collective bargaining and believe that is the key to getting better salaries for school staff.