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School Board Adopts Budget Targeting Salary Compression

The Fauquier County School Board voted unanimously to adopt the Fiscal Year 2020 Budget at their meeting on April 9.  The school division’s budget will increase by $7.5 million next year to total $148.3 million. FCPS teachers will receive raises between two and 14.7 percent to move to 92 to 100 percent of the market.

“We are providing the biggest pay increase for teachers in memory, and we are doing so without the need to raise taxes. This is historic,” said Superintendent Dr. David Jeck.

In February 2018, the superintendent outlined a strategy to address employee compensation in phases, announcing that the division’s largest employee group – teachers  –would be the focus in the FY 2020 budget. At their November 2018 retreat, the School Board committed to addressing teacher salary compression and market competitiveness to attract and retain highly qualified instructional staff. 

The school division’s long-term goal is to move all positions to 100 percent of the market under this phased approach. To achieve this goal, FCPS plans to complete annual market reviews, analyze employee turnover, and evaluate specific jobs that are identified to be behind in the market.

Satisfied with this year’s progress, the superintendent said, “This budget is a victory for every member of the Fauquier County Public Schools community. The progress we made toward decompressing our teacher pay school is historic, and credit to those who worked together to make it happen– the School Board, the Board of Supervisors, Paul McCulla, our teachers and staff members.”

School Board Chair Suzanne Sloane agreed. “It was truly a team effort.  Fixing the compression issue is a major first start to what needed to be accomplished.  So many positive changes can come from this first start.  It doesn’t get done without hard work, teamwork, and positivity,” she said.

Chairman Sloane also thanked the school community for being involved and for investing the time to come to meetings and to work on the budget.  “It’s easy to assume that nothing is getting done and people aren't working if you don’t involve yourself in the details.  I appreciate those who have been positive, idea people during this long budget season instead of dwelling on the negative,” she said.

The President of the Fauquier Education Association (FEA), Lauren Brill, agreed.  “It has been a long and challenging year working through this budget process, but the Fauquier Education Association (FEA) is pleased with the immense steps taken in tackling the compression issue here in the Fauquier County Public Schools. I am especially proud of the collaborative work of those who have stepped up to help solidify this progress throughout the year. The numerous individuals who attended the many meetings and events, sent emails, and made phone calls have created a strong and united voice here in Fauquier for their school system.”

“Though we have taken strides in the right direction, the FEA will not stop here,” Brill continued.  “Because we represent all positions in our profession we will continue to work toward the goal of making sure all employees are professionally and adequately compensated in Fauquier County Public Schools. But, today is a great day to wear RED4ED and celebrate the accomplishments of our great collaboration and efforts this past year!”

The school division relaunched their budget website at www.fcps1.org/budget2020 and added a Get the FAQs document to share the answers to frequently asked questions and details about the budget.