Fairfax School Budget & Assistant Principals

By VA Blogger

Last week when the Fairfax School Budget was announced, I asked what would happen if we cut one Assistant Principal from every school. Kiel Stone, who is editor of Bacon’s Rebellion’s E-zine and sits on the Education Committee for the Fairfax Federation of Citizens Associations, has been going through the school budget and let me know of some interesting numbers he found:

Fairfax County has 432 Assistant Principals for 174,365 students for a ratio of 1 AP for every 403.6 students. This is way out of line with surrounding localities:

Arlington: 33 for 18,517 students (a ratio of 1 to 561.1)
Prince William: 124 for 72,654 students (1 to 585.9)
Loudoun: 103 for 57,317 (1 to 556.4)
Montgomery: 247 for 139,000 (1 to 562)

According to Stone:

For the sake of argument let’s take the average ratio of those four, which is 1 to 566. If Fairfax were to meet that ratio we would need only 308 principals, 124 fewer than we have currently. With an outlay of $43,056,674 on Assistant Principals the average salary for that position is $99,668. Reducing the number of Assistant Principals by that 124 number would result in a savings of $12,358,860.

In the proposed budget the cuts in Elementary ($9.51 million), Middle ($3.47 million) and High ($6.61 million) core instruction total $19.59 million, or just $7.2 million more than what is gained by bringing the Assistant Principal ratio into line with the surrounding counties.

Stone concedes that it is possible there is a good reason why the numbers are out of line, though one hasn’t been readily presented to the public. Nonetheless, this is a clear path to save $12 million without touching in-classroom resources. This is the kind of thing the School Board needs to be doing.


  • Jose Kinusee says:

    An even more preposterous comparison is the budget vs student population; PWC 73,900 students with a $799M budget; glorious Loudoun with 56,000 students and a budget of $746M. This is according to today’s WASHPOST.

  • Lovettsville Lady says:

    Does Jack Dale really need 17 assistant superintendents? Does FCPS really need an entire division of teacher training? Do they really need the second, over priced, Taj Mahal with an indoor gym and an indoor/outdoor restaurant? Do they really need 8, expensive, IB schools when 90% of parents and students would prefer the cheaper, and better, AP program? Do they really need to move staff out of Devonshire center because it’s SO rundown, but good enough to force Graham Road kids to go there, when neither kids or family want to leave there neighborhood school?

    Why they do whatever they want? Because they can. The BOS will always give them the money they want. Any problem can be solved easily. Simply raise taxes!

  • Lovettsville Lady says:

    BTW, does anyone know when Loudoun county sends out real estate assessments and bills for this year?


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