The chief inspector of Fairfax Co. Public Schools Proposes Smaller Pay Increases for Teachers – NBC4 Washington

The superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools was hoping to provide a 6% raise across the board, but says it will likely be scaled back 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 Jeff McKay, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She wanted an increase of more than $250 million to fund essential programs and achieve the 6% wage increases.

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

“A focus of our budget proposal had been to catapult beginning teacher salaries and, again, beginning master teacher salaries to No. 1 in our region, but as a result of the significantly lower than requested funding levels, our improvement in Entry-level salaries will be a little more measured,” Reid said.

Local teachers unions say the province should have granted the superintendent’s request.

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

The school district’s budget has not yet been finalized, and McKay said in a statement to News4 that “it is now up to the elected school board to prioritize spending for the following year.”

School Board member Mateo Dunne seemed to agree, suggesting the pay increases should be prioritized based on the district’s most critical needs.

“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 has lost 0.7% of its public education workforce this year, after losing 3.5% in 2023.

“We have people who are burned out of the profession,” said David Walrod, president of the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers. “We have people saying, ‘I can’t keep doing this.’”

The school board will continue with the budget this week.

Fairfax County teachers union representatives believe they are close to finalizing collective bargaining and believe it is the key to better pay for school staff.