Our Revised Budget Following COVID-19
On Friday, June 5, the Alexandria School Board approved the Revised Operating Budget for 2020-21 and the Capital Improvement Program budget for 2021-30.
As a result of an anticipated reduced revenue forecast due primarily to the COVID-19 pandemic, ACPS was required to reduce its original Operating Budget by $11.7 million. Reductions were made through the elimination of staff step increases, that typically afford them an increase in salary. All departments and schools also reduced their operating budgets by 5 percent and a hiring freeze for non-instructional vacancies has been put in place for the 2020-21 academic year.
This approach will mitigate the need for reductions in staffing levels across the division. To mitigate, and in some cases eliminate these salary reductions, ACPS has approved a one-time $150 payment for all staff, except those employee groups receiving the Market Rate Adjustment due to our employee compensation study in fall 2019.
ACPS’ key priorities for students for the 2020-21 school year remain the same despite the budget reductions. The focus will continue to be on K-2 literacy; and increased outreach to underserved communities to improve the graduation rate and reduce chronic absenteeism.
A total of $103.7 million originally allocated for the High School Project has been deferred. Efforts are being made, however, to keep the project on time. The construction of the new Douglas MacArthur Elementary School building will remain on schedule.
As a result of an anticipated reduced revenue forecast due primarily to the COVID-19 pandemic:
- ACPS was required to reduce its original Operating Budget by $11.7 million
- This approach will mitigate the need for reductions in staffing levels across the division
- ACPS priorities remain the same despite the budget reductions. Our focus is still on K-2 literacy; and increased outreach to underserved communities to improve the graduation rate and reduce chronic absenteeism
- All departments and schools reduced their operating budgets and a hiring freeze has been put in place
- During the add/delete process ACPS eliminated two Professional Development days to support a one-time $150 payment for all staff, except those receiving the Market Rate Adjustment.
- Despite the one-time $150 payment, staff may still be impacted
- $103.7 million of High School Project funding has been aligned more closely with the project scheduling and anticipated construction - efforts are being made to keep the project on time
- Douglas MacArthur will remain on schedule.
Operating Budget Adjustments:
- City Appropriation reduction ($7,400,000)
- State Revenue reduction ($4,000,000)
- Local Revenue reduction ($309,700)
ACPS met these required reductions through:
- Health Benefit Savings ($720,500)
- Eliminating the Employer Contribution to Supplemental Retirement ($886,400)
- Eliminating 2% One-time Bonus reduction ($557,500)
- Eliminating the Employee Step Increase ($5,524,000)
- Reducing new positions ($1,514,200)
- A 5% reduction to non-personnel costs ($1,777,100)
- Hiring freeze for non-classroom positions ($750,000)
Combined Funds Budget (Operating Budget Plus Grants/Special Projects Fund)
ACPS is anticipating receiving $3.6 million in aid from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This is a one-time grant.
Capital Improvement Program Budget
- The most notable adjustment for the FY 2021-2030 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) budget is that $103.7M for the High School Project was removed from the FY 2021 budget.
- The $103.7M that was removed by the City from the FY 2021 CIP budget has not been replaced in the ten-year at this time.
- However, based on discussions with the City, the intent is to replace the funding in an out-year of the CIP to accommodate this project and remain on schedule.
- Douglas MacArthur will remain on schedule.
For more information, please refer to the following:
- Virtual Special Called Board Meeting - CIP Budget Work Session
- Superintendent's Revised Budget Presentation (PDF)
- School Board Budget Question and Answer (PDF)
- CARES Act Memo (PDF)
- Health Insurance Rates (PDF)
- Revised Budget Frequently Asked Questions
More about our budget: where the money goes
The ACPS budget is funded in three parts.
The Operating Budget: This funds the annual operating costs for the school division. Almost 87% of this budget is made up of staff salaries. It also includes healthcare costs and benefits. The reminder of this budget covers school and department operating costs.
The Combined Funds Budget: This is the name given the Operating Budget once it has grant funding and federal nutrition funding included.
The Capital Improvement Program Budget: This budget is always separate from the Combined Funds Budget. It funds capital improvements and modernization projects. This budget also includes funding for textbooks.