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ACPS Superintendent’s Proposed FY2025 Combined Funds Budget Prioritizes Staff Recruitment/Retention, Instructional Rigor, Security, Facilities and Middle School Athletics

Contact: Jasmine Washington-Price, or 703-283-5567

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—At tonight’s Alexandria City School Board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Melanie Kay-Wyatt proposed the Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25) Combined Funds Budget for Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) that prioritizes improving staff compensation and increasing specific school-based staff positions, improving instructional alignment and rigor, funding technology upgrades to prevent or mitigate cyber-security threats, preparing for the opening of the Alexandria City High School (ACHS) Minnie Howard campus in August 2024 and supporting the launch of middle school athletics. The Proposed Combined Funds Budget for FY 2025, which includes the Operating Budget, School Nutrition Funds, as well as Grants and Special Projects Fund, totals $373.7 million. The ACPS Operating Budget of $342.4 million for the 2024-25 school year is an increase of 3.9% from last year’s budget. 

As ACPS continues to emphasize staff recruitment and retention in the competitive Northern Virginia jobs market, the proposed budget includes step increases for eligible employees, higher wage rates for hourly or casual employees (including substitute teachers), recruitment and retention bonuses for eligible hard-to-fill positions in special education, transportation and other teaching roles, and increasing benefit rates in order to maintain the current rate benefit plan structure. 

“We are one team, on one journey, at ACPS, and this Proposed Combined Funds Budget for FY 2025 demonstrates our priority to retain and recruit highly qualified staff to ensure students’ academic progress and well-being,” said Superintendent Dr. Melanie Kay-Wyatt. “As enrollment has grown and we offer additional academic courses with the opening of the new Minnie Howard campus, funding is needed to increase school-based staff. Also, we are looking to provide our middle school students with a new athletics program and ensure we have the necessary funding for our technology security and facilities operations in the year ahead.”

Additionally, the budget proposes increased staffing based on enrollment levels to include additional teachers for homeroom, English Learner (EL) and specialized instruction (SPED) classes and to support new pathways and courses as a result of the opening of the new Minnie Howard campus of the Alexandria City High School (ACHS). Proposed funding would also ensure that ACPS is able to prevent or mitigate cyber-security threats and ensure sufficient facilities and  operational funding for such items as risk management and property insurances and increased operational costs due to the new high school campus. Funding for middle school athletics in the proposed budget would be directed towards equipment, uniforms, stipends and transportation. ·

ACPS Chief Financial Officer Dominic Turner highlighted the long-term thinking that informed this proposed budget, saying “Our budget team worked closely with division leaders to ensure that staff positions in schools are increased to reflect enrollment and that we have the financial incentives to retain and recruit staff as well as strengthen specific positions that are critical to student success. We are looking ahead to address the need for improved cybersecurity protection and improved technology infrastructure.” Turner encouraged community members to get involved in the budget process. 

The School Board will hold the first work session on the combined funds budget–including the operating budget–on Jan. 11, 2024, and the second work session as well as a Public Hearing on the proposed budget on Jan. 18, 2024. The School Board is expected to adopt the budget on Feb. 22, 2024, after which it will go to the City Council for its review and approval.

The full budget timeline and a summary of this year’s budget process can be found on the ACPS FY 2025 Budget web page. The Jan. 4, 2024 School Board meeting, at which the superintendent’s proposed budget was presented, will be available to view online.

Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) serves more than 16,000 students who hail from more than 119 countries and speak 121 languages. ACPS has 18 schools, including two middle schools, two K-8 schools, one pre-K school and the internationally recognized Alexandria City High School. ACPS is committed to putting racial equity at the heart of all decisions and ensuring that each and every student succeeds.