FAIRFAX, Va. - While the kids are splashing in the pools during summer break, the grownups are thinking of slashing. Officials are trying to figure out how to make huge cuts to the Fairfax County Public Schools budget as the school system has been adding more students and cutting expenses.
But they have reached a point where they have to do more.
We talked to local parents about this issue. What do they think about getting rid of teacher pay raises?
“I think teachers well deserve the pay raises,” said Jessy Quiroz. “They do amazing jobs and they are a huge help to our future.”
How about cutting athletics?
“I'm against it,” said Quiroz. “I think sports programs are good. It's good for the health of the kids and they need to release their energy positively."
Then why not eliminate some of the arts and music programs?
“They can also develop artistically, so I don't think it's a good idea to cut that,” Quiroz told us.
The school system has been cutting from the budget since 2008 -- eliminating 2,200 jobs.
“We have done our very best to protect schools and programming and we have been intentional about that,” said Fairfax County Public Schools superintendent Dr. Karen Garza. “But we're at a point now where we have no other option. There's nothing else to cut.”
Now, a task force has created a list of possible cuts. They may need to slash as much as $100 million.
“I now have people say, 'Well, you have certain things on there just to upset folks,'” said Dr. Garza. “No, we’re not. We're considering anything that we can cost out. We’re putting it on our document to consider. We think for transparency purposes, it's very important. We don't filter what ideas we consider and what we don't.”
Fairfax County Public Schools is the tenth largest school system in the country. They have already raised class sizes three times. So what happens now? As Garza puts it, "this is distasteful" and it certainly will not be fun.