Finance Committee Meetings

  • 2023-24 Finance Committee Meetings

    March 7, 2024, Finance Committee Meeting
    Staff addressed questions from School Board members regarding health insurance premiums and the cost of commuting to Loudoun County. Staff reviewed potential state funding for next school year under the Governor, House and Senate state budget proposals. Staff then reviewed the remaining School Board financial funds (Textbook, Debt Service, Capital Projects, Private Purpose, Consolidated Services, Construction, Health Insurance, Special Grants, and Northwestern Regional Educational Programs Operating and Textbook Funds) and their FY25 proposed budget amounts. Dr. Reeves from the Northwestern Regional Educational Program (NREP) provided an overview of the program, services provided, enrollment and program goals. 

    February 12, 2024, Finance Committee Meeting
    Staff provided answers to school board members' questions on the reasons teachers leave FCPS, the cost of providing all classified staff with 25 years or more a $3,000 pay supplement and the estimated cost to commute to Loudoun County to teach. Staff then provided significant changes to the Operating Fund baseline budget, the School Nutrition Program and the Community Eligibility Program (CEP). The Superintendent’s Proposed Operating Budget includes a $2.2 million transfer to the School Nutrition Fund to implement CEP divisionwide. CEP is a non-pricing meal service option for school districts in low-income areas. If FCPS elected all schools to be CEP for the next school year, breakfast and lunch would be available at no charge to participating students and household free and reduced-priced applications would not be collected.  Research indicates that the benefits of offering CEP at all schools lead to better learning outcomes, better school attendance, increased class participation, builds lifelong healthy eating habits and reduces the stigma associated with free and reduced-price meals. Breakfast and lunches were provided free of charge from March 2020 to June 2022. During this time, divisionwide student participation in the lunch program increased from 49% to 60%. Assuming the same percentage of students participate under divisionwide CEP, $2.2 million as a transfer from the School Operating Fund would be needed to support the cost of operating the school nutrition program. Staff also provided school board members with two additional options for consideration. If the school division phased in CEP to five more schools (currently 9 are CEP), $1.3 million would be needed to operate the program. If the division continues to only have CEP at 9 schools, $1.0 million is needed to operate the school nutrition program. Staff also reviewed the transportation and safety and security equipment budget requests. Staff recommended the school board award a contract to Siemens Industry, Inc. for building automation system services for $2,000,000 to be funded with federal ESSER funds.

    February 5, 2024, Finance Committee Meeting
    Staff provided answers to school board members' questions regarding the proposed salary initiative. Staff discussed the 25 new positions proposed for next school year under the division’s staffing standards implementation, a request of $2.1 million. The 25 new positions are teachers directly supporting students in the areas of general education, special education, English language learning, and career and technical education. Staff also reviewed the details of the proposed hybrid night program at Dowell J. Howard. This program will provide more opportunities for at-risk students to complete their high school experience and graduate on time. The program is estimated to cost $46,800. Staff also reviewed terminology and savings realized in the current year's budget due to personnel attrition. These savings are requested to be used for several facilities' needs. These facility needs, the line item detailed budget proposal and committee presentation can be found below.

    January 25, 2024, Finance Committee Meeting
    Staff reviewed the FY25 budget calendar and timeline of finance committee meetings through February. The timeline includes finance committee dates and topics for discussion. Staff also reviewed details of the Superintendent’s Proposed FY 2025 operating budget salary initiative. The proposed salary initiative includes the following pay scale averages; 6.6% teacher, 6.6% classified, 5.0% professional, 3.2% supervisor/coordinator and 3.2% administrator. Potential salary scales with the proposed scale averages increases were reviewed. The pay scale scenarios were developed with the following salary goals to accomplish over five years: remove years experience clusters, max scales at 30 years experience, offer a competitive starting salary, offer a competitive salary for experience, and provide a cost of living adjustment. 

    December 7, 2023, Finance Committee Meeting
    Staff reviewed the FY 2025 tentative budget calendar and contract awards for instructional services, interior painting at Sherando High School, kitchen improvements at James Wood Middle School, and building automation systems replacements.

    August 31, 2023, Finance Committee Meeting
    Staff highlighted the FY2024 School Board Approved Budget Document. A spending update on federal ESSER III and CSLFRF spending to date was provided. Staff reviewed the FY2023 Student Activity Fund Audit. Nineteen schools had no audit findings. Two schools had one finding each. The audit reports can be found linked below.  Staff highlighted the athletics financial report for high and middle schools. The athletic financial report can be found linked below. Staff also reviewed the financial results of FY 2023 for all school board financial funds. The FY2023 Year End Financial Statements can be found linked below. The School Operating Fund ended the year with an unobligated surplus of $877,282 in which the superintendent recommends using the surplus funds to replace fire alarm systems at various school buildings. The School Board will decide at the next School Board meeting how to best use the surplus funds. After the School Board decides the use of the funds, the request will be forwarded to the Board of Supervisors for final approval. 

    August 10, 2023, Finance Committee Meeting
    Staff reviewed Virginia Public School Authority (VPSA) Educational Technology funds provided by the state to support computer-based instructional and testing systems for the Standards of Learning and support high speed internet connectivity to high, middle and elementary schools. FCPS receives $540,000. Staff also reviewed the results of the internal audit on schools computer and student device inventory, accounts payable disbursements, general payroll, and analysis of accounts receivable cash receipts. The audit concluded with no findings and no exceptions noted. Staff highlighted the Memorandum of Understanding regarding the School Resource Officer Program is posted to the FCPS website for public comment as required by state code. Staff also shared changes to certain transportation employee contracts. 

    Staff reviewed the importance of Parent Organizations to the school community. The information focused on the roles of parent organizations and the roles of school administrators to ensure effective collaboration. Lastly, staff discussed the value of FCPS substitute employees and the Superintendent recommended the full board proclaim November 17th as Substitute Appreciation Day. 

    2022-23 Finance Committee Meetings

    May 11, 2023, Finance Committee Meeting
    Staff reviewed updates to tuition rates and student fees for the 2023-24 school year. Policy 729 - Student Fees, Charges and Collections specifies acceptable fees school divisions can charge as specified in the Code of Virginia. Staff also reminded committee members that parents and guardians can request student fees be reduced or waived. The proposed rates and fees will be voted on by the full School Board on May 16. Staff presented to committee members the competitive purchasing policy and procurement best practices FCPS follows (aligned to the Virginia Public Procurement Act) to obtain high quality goods and services at a reasonable cost in a fair and impartial manner. The presentation included the process steps for the request for proposal and information for bid competitive solicitation processes to encourage competition in public purchasing among vendors/contractors. Staff then updated committee members on a financial reporting change to the Bright Futures Program. In collaboration with Winchester City Schools, FCPS will begin to account for 100 percent of Bright Futures activity within the Private Purpose Fund. FCPS will continue to serve as fiscal agent of the program. Funding sources for the program will be through donations, grants and billings to the two participating school divisions. The committee meeting concluded with a presentation regarding the Shenandoah Valley Migrant Education Program in which FCPS will participate. 

    April 20, 2023, Finance Committee Meeting
    Staff recommended a contract be awarded to Alonzo Construction, Inc. in the amount of $3,189,000 to replace the roof at Millbrook High School.  Staff also recommended the following contracts: a renewal to Anthem Health Plans of Virginia, Inc.for medical, pharmacy, vision and reinsurance services, a contract to Delta Dental of Virginia for dental insurance, and a contract to Health Equity, Inc. for health saving account administration. These contract award recommendations will be voted on by the full board Tuesday, April 25. Regarding the FY 2024 budget, staff walked committee members through the health insurance fund and the expected higher health claims resulting in the need to raise both employee and employer premium shares by ten percent. FCPS would continue to fund a range of 90% to 73% of premiums depending on coverage. Staff reviewed that the Board of Supervisors fully funded the school’s operating budget request with $690,000 of nonrecurring funds. Finance committee members concluded the meeting discussing items to fund in the budget and teacher salary scale scenarios. The budget is expected to be voted on by the full board on Tuesday, April 25.

    March 23, 2023, Finance Committee Meeting
    Staff provided finance committee board members a copy of the Frederick County Government salary scales as was requested. Staff walked committee members through the calendar of upcoming budget events - finance committee meetings April 6th (tentative) and the 13th, Board of Supervisors budget adoption on April 19th, school division finance committee meeting April 20th to potentially adjust the proposed budget depending on the outcome of the BOS budget adoption, and the final School Board budget vote on April 25th at a School Board meeting. Staff walked finance committee members through budget information found on the school division’s website. Dr. Hummer provided finance committee members an opportunity to address items in the proposed budget. Dr. Hummer concluded the meeting by providing finance committee members an overview of the school division’s purchasing policy, spending limitations, and spending communications.

    March 16, 2023, Finance Committee Meeting
    Staff recommended that the School Board award a contract to Paramount Mechanical Corp. in the amount of $5,145,000 to replace the HVAC at Armel Elementary School. Federal pandemic relief funds (ESSER III) will support the cost of this capital project. Staff provided finance committee board members answers to their questions on challenges related to transporting students, extending the daily hours on bus driver contracts, surveying staff on the need to provide daycare as a benefit, qualifications and job requirements of speech pathologists and behavior specialists, proposed pay scale increases, and years experience of teachers leaving FCPS for other school divisions. Staff walked committee members through the operating proposal of $9.2 million and reminded members of the current Board of Supervisor funding scenarios. Scenario A ($0.55 tax rate) would require the proposed budget be reduced by $3.9 million. Scenario B ($0.57 tax rate) would require the proposed budget be reduced by $1.0 million. Scenario C ($0.51 tax rate) would require the school division to operate with current funding levels meaning no salary increase and no new positions. Finance committee members discussed their budget proposal recommendation to be voted on by the full board at their regular meeting on March 21, 2023. At the end of the meeting, Dr. Abbey provided committee members with information regarding additional modular classrooms for Sherando High School.

    March 9, 2023, Finance Committee Meeting
    Staff provided finance committee board members answers to their questions on the certain costs related to transportation, bus driver bonuses, frequency of bus driver pay, cost of bus driver pay scale to be similar to Shenandoah County’s bus driver scale, vacant positions, social workers, psychologists, and providing a Basic Rec benefit for staff needing childcare. Staff provided committee members information on the school division’s per pupil cost by source of funds and how FCPS per pupil cost compares to surrounding Virginia school divisions. Staff corrected misinformation such as $7.2 million was not spent on the old Aylor middle school. The $7.2 million is provided from the federal government as covid relief funds (ESSER III) and will be used to replace the HVAC at Armel Elementary School. Staff addressed the myth that school expenditures should change proportionately with student enrollment. This is a myth because salaries, utilities, and fuel costs do not increase or decrease due to student enrollment numbers. Staff also reviewed the other financial funds managed by the school division and their proposed changes compared to the current school year. The meeting concluded with preparing finance committee members to adjust the budget proposal based upon current funding scenarios provided by the Frederick County Board of Supervisors. Scenario A ($0.55 tax rate) would require the proposed budget be reduced by $3.9 million. Scenario B ($0.57 tax rate) would require the proposed budget be reduced by $1.0 million. Scenario C ($0.51 tax rate) would require the school division to operate with current funding levels meaning no salary increase and no new positions.

    March 2, 2023, Finance Committee Meeting
    Staff provided finance committee board members answers to their questions on the proposed classified pay scales, an additional pre-K classroom, parent liaisons, behavior specialist and bus driver pay. Staff provided details on the requested number of replacement school buses, the age and condition of the school bus fleet, WIDA and student growth assessments, fourth grade student travel to Blandy Farms, a division-wide communications survey and additional funds for staff recruiting. Staff reviewed the major changes to the FY24 baseline budget compared to the FY23 adopted budget. Staff provided committee members a copy of county funding scenarios that were discussed during the County Finance Committee Meeting on March 1st. County scenario A ($0.55 tax rate, effective 4 cent increase to the tax rate) would fund $5.3 million of the $9.2 million school operating request, scenario B ($0.57 tax rate, effective 6 cent increase to the tax rate) would fund $8.3 million of the $9.2 million school operating request and scenario C would not provide additional school operating funds (no tax increase). Staff also provided an overview of the requested projects under the Capital Projects Fund as described in the FY24 - FY23 Capital Asset Plan.

    February 23, 2023, Finance Committee Meeting
    Staff provided finance committee board members answers to their questions on the proposed classified pay scales, additional cost to have $17.00 and $20.00 minimum hourly wages, and payment of bus driver CDL training. Staff provided details and addressed board member questions on the proposed 21 new positions including English language teachers, middle school athletic trainers, an art teacher, an in-school instructional assistant, a parent liaison, a special services eligibility specialist, behavior specialists and technicians, and high school counselors. Staff also provided details on proposed salary upgrades for behavior specialists, extending contracts for high school accountability specialists and elementary custodians, supplemental (stipend) pay increases, and certifications. The budget calendar was updated to add a Finance Committee meeting on March 16 to address further questions so the School Board can adopt a School Board Proposed Budget at their March 21 School Board meeting.

    February 16, 2023, Finance Committee Meeting
    Staff provided finance committee board members answers to their questions on the use of federal pandemic funds, changes from the FY23 adopted budget and FY24 baseline budget, and teacher pay scale options. Details on the non-teacher salary initiative were also provided. The proposed salary initiative includes an average 5% increase for administrators, supervisors/coordinators and professional staff which aligns to Governor Youngkin’s proposed budget. For the classified pay group (school nutrition workers, instructional assistants, bus assistants, custodians, bus drivers, administrative assistants, maintenance technicians, mechanics, etc.) an average 9.5% increase is proposed. This increase includes Governor Youngkin’s 5% salary initiative plus an additional 4.5% (average) to increase the minimum hourly wage to $15.00. Additionally, staff updated finance committee members on budget proposals from the House and Senate chambers. Both chambers include funding a 7% salary increase opposed to the Governor’s recommended 5% increase for instructional and support staff. Staff also explained why the Superintendent’s proposed budget does not include a 1% retention bonus recommended by the Governor. The 1% bonus would require $0.8 million in county funds to implement. The 1% bonus is not included in VRS compensation; therefore, staff opted for a high salary initiative. Further, the House and Senate budgets differ on the 1% retention bonus. If the 1% retention bonus is passed and partially funded by the General Assembly, the School Board will decide if the initiative is included in their budget proposal.

    February 9, 2023, Finance Committee Meeting
    Staff provided finance committee board members an overview of the school division's recent internal financial audit. The audit concluded with no findings related to the handling of public funds through cash disbursements, payroll transactions and cash receipts. An explanation was provided concerning the audit performed on student and staff technology devices. This was the first year these items were included in the audit. Staff also provided an update on the status of federal pandemic funds - ESSER II, ESSER III and CSLFRF. ESSER II funds are almost fully used on dehumidification projects at Middletown and Armel Elementary Schools. ESSER III funds are being used to address learning loss caused by the pandemic and will also provide HVAC replacement at Armel Elementary School. These funds will expire September 2024. CSLFRF funds will provide HVAC replacement at NREP. CSLFRF funds will expire December 2024. Staff also provided details concerning the teacher salary initiative included in the Superintendent’s FY24 proposed budget. Various teacher pay scale examples were reviewed. Staff walked finance committee members through their budget notebooks including a schedule of upcoming finance committee meetings and their topics, a summary of the Superintendent’s budget by School Board priority, and a detailed budget report by state category. Staff also provided finance committee members a detailed line-item budget report and document of the Superintendent’s budget recommendations. All materials shared at the meeting can be found at the link below.

    September 29, 2022, Finance Committee Meeting
    Staff provided an update concerning the federal pandemic funds (ESSER ll, ESSER lll, and CSLFRF). The state has awarded the school division the School Building Construction and Renovation Grant (SBCR) in the amount of $4,117,427. Funds must be used toward capital projects and will help address the list of capital projects in the Capital Projects Fund not funded by the BOS. Staff shared information regarding a state supported bonus for employees. The amount of the bonus is $1,000 for full time contracted employees and $500 for part time employees who are currently employed and have worked at least 60 days. The bonus will be paid on November 16th. The Committee members heard the results of the student activity funds audit and an overview of the  fiscal year 2022 financial report. The operating fund concluded the fiscal year with $1,023,546 in unobligated funds. Staff recommended the Committee forward to the full School Board its recommendation for two FY 2023 budget adjustments. One budget adjustment to the Operating Fund  in the amount of $266,148 which represents restricted funds and a budget adjustment to the School Capital Projects Fund in the amount of $1,023,456 which represents the remaining FY 2022 unobligated funds. An overview of the FY 2023 Budget Document was provided.

  • 2021-22 Finance Committee Meetings

    Access meeting materials by clicking on the meeting date.

    May 10, 2022 FInance Committee Meeting
    Staff reviewed local funding to be provided by the Board of Supervisors for next school year that represents a $2.1 million reduction from the proposed $4.6 million operating budget request. Further, the Board of Supervisors provided no county funds for the capital projects proposed under the School Capital Projects Fund. Staff reviewed budget adjustments of $2.1 million including the removal of three CTE liaison positions; pay differential for special education teachers, behavior specialists and their assistants; supplemental pay for degreed instructional assistants and the “Grow Our Own” FCPS graduate incentive. These budget adjustments were made by the finance committee on April 14, 2022 and later approved by the School Board on April 21, 2022. Staff also reviewed that the Millbrook High School roof would not be replaced since the county did not provide funds for capital projects. Lastly, staff recommended a contract award to Paramount Mechanical Corp. in the amount of $2,298,000 to improve the HVAC system at NREP. These funds are provided by the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds through the federal government.  

    May 2, 2022, Finance Committee Meeting
    Staff reviewed personnel vacancies and details on the requested new 29 teaching positions proposed in the budget. Staff also reviewed ESSER III (federal COVID funds) facts including the grant timeline, allowable uses, stakeholder input, and planning transparency. Answers to questions received from Board of Supervisor Douglas McCarthy on April 27, 2022, on the use of ESSER III funds can be found in the link above. Further, staff clarified facts regarding proposed salary increases. The Superintendent’s Proposed Budget included a 5% increase for all staff (including administrators) and a higher pay differential for special education teachers, behavior specialists and their assistants. School Board Members adjusted the proposed budget to include speech therapists in the special education pay differential initiative and to add three CTE teaching liaisons by reducing the special education pay differential amount and reducing the administrator pay increase. This action resulted in a 4.5% administrator increase. All staff, including special education staff, will receive a 5% pay increase under the Board of Supervisors’ Scenario A (fully-funded proposal) and Scenario C. The special education pay differential initiative is an additional pay incentive that can be realized under funding Scenario A. Finally, the employee share of health insurance will not increase for the next school year.

    April 14, 2022, Finance Committee Meeting
    Staff reviewed the successful results of the recent FCPS internal audit. Responses to budget questions recently received from Board of Supervisors Blaine Dunn, Douglas McCarthy and Josh Ludwig were provided to finance committee members and a copy of those questions and responses can be found in the link above. Staff reviewed the Frederick County Government funding scenarios that were discussed during their board meeting April 13, 2022.  Supervisors Judith McCann-Slaughter, Robert Wells and Charles DeHaven voted for funding scenario A which fully funds the School Board proposed FY23 budget. Supervisors Douglas McCarthy, Blaine Dunn and Josh Ludwig voted for funding scenario C which reduces the School Board’s operating budget proposal by $2.1 million to reserve those funds for future transportation projects. Since the outcome was a tied vote (Supervisor Shawn Graber was absent), the county will reconvene at a later date to vote on funds for school operations. Staff worked with School Board finance committee members to review the details of their proposed budget and to identify a range of $2.1 million up to $2.5 million in budget proposal cuts. This range of cuts reflects county funding scenario C and potential reduction in state revenues. At present, the state and county have not finalized FY23 funding for schools.

    March 10, 2022, Finance Committee Meeting
    Staff answered a school board member’s question about positions that should or should not be included in the $6,000 pay differential. Staff reviewed potential county funding scenarios for the schools. County scenario A fully funds the School Board’s proposed budget. Scenario B provides no county funds for school capital projects. Scenario C reduces the operating proposal by $2.1 million. Regarding the state budget, staff shared state funding ranges based on three state proposals:  Governor, House and Senate. The School Board’s proposed budget is based on the Governor’s state budget version. The state final budget may not be complete for another few weeks.  Based on the state funding proposals, Frederick County Public Schools could receive $400,000 less or $2.0 million more for operating and no funds or $5.3 million for school capital projects. Staff also reviewed all school financial funds that would be included in the county’s budget advertisement for the county budget public hearing on March 23, 2022.  Operating, debt service and capital project funds are impacted by county funds. Staff reviewed all other funds' purposes and their changes for the next school year.

    February 23, 2022, Finance Committee Meeting
    Staff shared transportation requests included in the Superintendent’s proposed budget with finance committee members. The proposed budget includes funding for two additional replacement school buses. Staff also reviewed debt service funds and their use for principal and interest payments. The proposed budget requests the debt funding level remain the same as the current year allowing for a one-time transfer of $0.9 million to the School Capital Projects Fund to support facilities asset replacement projects. Finance committee members also discussed potential adjustments to the Superintendent’s proposed budget.

    February 17, 2022, Finance Committee Meeting
    During the finance committee meeting, staff answered committee and board members questions regarding the five percent salary initiative, additional staffing and extended/upgraded employee contracts in the Superintendent’s Proposed Budget. Questions and answers focused on reallocating teachers, maintenance technician certifications, elementary learning centers, and work-based learning and transition specialists. These questions and answers can be found in the link above. Staff also presented the updated Capital Asset Plan (CAP) for the next school year including facilities preventive maintenance and asset replacement project priorities. Information about the CAP can be found in the link above.

    February 10, 2022, Finance Committee Meeting
    During the finance committee meeting, staff answered board member questions regarding the compensation budget proposal for the 2022-23 school year.  Questions and answers focused on bus driver pay incentives, health insurance premiums, restricted programs, salary scale years of experience compression, Pre-K and the Governor’s proposed 5% salary initiative. These questions and answers can be found in the link above. Staff reviewed the meaning of categorical vs. lump sum total funding by the board of supervisors. Staff also reviewed information and justification for the 55 new positions requested in the Superintendent’s proposed budget. Fifty-four of the new positions directly support students and one position supports facilities maintenance. Details on categorical funding and new staffing requests can be found in the link above.

    February 3, 2022, Finance Committee Meeting
    Finance staff provided finance committee members an update on the school division’s Federal Coronavirus funds. Committee members received FY 2023 budget notebooks with details of the Superintendent’s Proposed FY 2023 budget.  Staff reviewed the timeline and goals of finance committee meetings related to the budget.  Budget meeting norms and the School Board’s role in the budget process were discussed.  Staff also guided School Board members through the details of the Superintendent’s Proposed FY 2023 budget and provided a line item budget report. Division cuts made prior to the Superintendent’s proposed budget were reviewed. Further, School Board members were provided the details of the salary initiative included in the Superintendent’s budget. The salary initiative includes a five percent increase for all pay groups, enhanced pay for school nurses, a new pay scale for special education teachers and instructional assistants, and a new pay scale for behavior specialists and assistants. Extended contracts for some high school counselors and special education department leads, a five percent increase to health insurance premiums and a Grow Our Own FCPS graduate incentive program are also included in the compensation proposal.

    August 26, 2021, Finance Committee Meeting
    During the August 26th School Board Finance Committee meeting, staff provided an update on the use of Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funds (CARES) and the American Rescue Plan Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds (ESSER III). Staff also presented the results of the student activity funds audit and the fiscal year 2021 financial report. The operating fund concluded the fiscal year with $4,264,552 in unobligated funds. The School Board voted to send to the Board of Supervisors three budget adjustments - a School Operating Fund budget adjustment of $10,793,769 for ESSER III funds, $2,769,024 for CSLFRF, $454,276 in restricted funds, and a School Capital Projects Fund budget adjustment of $4,264,552 to support the Capital Asset Plan and the purchase of nineteen school buses.