Even though the Fairfax County Public Schools projects a large deficit annually, the system actually has had a surplus totaling more than $300 million over the last decade, The Washington Post reports.
FCPS has ended each budget year with an average of $30 million in unspent funds from the system’s budget during the past decade, the report says.
Read the entire Washington Post story here.
The money most often comes from savings on projected bills or from unexpected revenue increases, including income that was higher than expected from county sales taxes.
Some of the money goes to balancing the budget for the next year, the report says. But sometimes it funds "wishlist" items such as purchasing equipment, adding assistant principals at elementary schools and helping schools to install synthetic turf sports fields.
Meanwhile, the school board is predicting a $195 million deficit driven by rising enrollment figures and employee compensation needs even though FCPS had about $55 million left over this year. The report says the system will use use about $10 million of that to purchase new school buses and add three positions to the system’s legal staff.
Speak Out: How do you think the annual surplus should be spent?