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District's Funding Issues Call for Tough Decisions, Could Sports Be Eliminated?

District's Funding Issues Call for Tough Decisions, Could Sports Be Eliminated?

Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia is one of the nation's largest school districts, but it also has one of the nation's biggest funding problems that is forcing a task force for the district to consider some tough decisions.

According to The Washington Post, a salary increase for teachers, an increase in enrollment a $20 million decrease in state funding has left the district with a big budget problem.

"Officials are projecting a shortfall of $50 million to $100 million next year, meaning significant programming changes would need to be implemented, schools officials said," the article said.

In order to address the issue, a 36-person task force has been assigned to the matter, and even though it's still early in the process, many controversial ideas have been proposed including saving $11 million in funding by eliminating all sports activities.

"Cutting high school sports in one of the nation’s largest school districts would be a shocking move, and it appeared to be a dramatic opening salvo in what are often politically charged discussions about the Fairfax schools budget," The Post said.

But many policymakers do not think such a controversial move would ever come into fruition despite the big budget problems.

"Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova (D) said she doubts that the school system would seriously consider getting rid of high school sports, a move that would prove deeply unpopular and detrimental to the traditional public school experience."

Other task force suggestions include adding one student to every K-12 class size, increasing pre-school class sizes, or cutting pre-schools in general except for students with special needs.

Read the full story here and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

08/07/2015

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