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Special Guest Testimony by FairfaxCAPS member Tom France

May 19, 2012 by Greg Brandon

[Tom France is a member of FEC member organization FairfaxCAPs.  This is his testimony during the Public Hearing on the FCPS FY 2013 Advertised Budget on May 15, 2012. Greg Brandon, Web Editor]

Than you for the opportunity to speak today. I am a member of the Fairfax County Coalition of Advocates for Public Schools, or Fairfax CAPS, and one of our recent projects has been to gather information comparing spending by FCPS on salaries for central office positions and for teachers. Attached to my remarks are four chars showing the following information for Fiscal Years 2004-2012:

1) the number of central staff positions (both School Operating Fund (SOF) positions and positions paid by other fuds);

2) the aggregate amount of the school operating fud spent on central office positions;

3) the average full-time salaries for central office positions; and

4) the aggregate amount spent on teacher salaries, the total number of teacher positions, and the average salar for teachers.

Following are some highlights derived from the information contained in these charts:

  • The average central office salar in FY 2012 was $73,000, which was about $9,000 higher than the average teacher salar. In FY 2004, the average central offce salary was only about $3,000 more than the average teacher salary.
  • Aggregate spending on central office full time salaries grew by $21.6 milion, or more than 22%, from FY 2004 to 2012, even though total central office positions decreased by 38 during the same period.
  • The average central office salar increased by almost $15,000, or 25%, from FY 2004 to 2012. The average teacher salary increased by about $8,700, or about 15.8%, during the same period.
  • Much of the increase occurred before the recession - aggregate spending on central office salaries increased by 31 % from FY 2004 to 2008. Teacher salaries increased by about 20% during that period.
  • Since the recession, the average central offce salar increased by less than 2% and average teacher salary decreased by about 3.4%.

Following are some highlights of growth in average salary from FY 2004 to 2012 in certain central office deparments:

  • Superintendent's Office - average salary grew by $19,841, or 25.8%, to $96,794;
  • Cluster Offices - average salary grew by $29,938, or 34.1 %, to $117,744; Instructional Services - average salar grew by $14,976, or 21.4%, to $85,000; and 
  • Information Technology - average salary grew by $20,224, or 3 l. 7%, to $83,943.

These are not the right trends, in paricular the growing disparity between central office salaries and teacher salaries. We need to be maximizing resources in the classroom, especially in these difficult budget times, and we need to ensure that our salary structure is designed not only to attract the best teachers, but to incentivize them to remain in the classroom, not to move on to Gatehouse. We can do better and this budget is the time to begin.

Thank you.

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