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Never Waste a Fiscal Crisis Jack D' Dale Superintendent Fairfax County Public Schools


Fairfax County Public Schools 'fast facts': $2.2 billion operating budget ... Since FY 2003, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has released a program ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Never Waste a Fiscal Crisis Jack D' Dale Superintendent Fairfax County Public Schools

Never Waste a Fiscal CrisisJack D.
DaleSuperintendentFairfax County Public Schools
Opportunity 1Articulate Budget Drivers
  • Core Values
  • Mission
  • Beliefs
  • Goals
  • Criteria for Final Decisions

Opportunity 2Thorough Program Review
  • Zero Based Budget Choices
  • Eliminate
  • Re-design
  • Reduce
  • Leave

Opportunity 3Alignment of Priorities/Criteria
  • School Board
  • Senior Leadership
  • Principals
  • Staff
  • Community

Fairfax Budget Rationalization Three Key Elements
  • Fairfax County Public Schools fast facts
  • 2.2 billion operating budget
  • Decrease of 10.3 million, or 0.5 percent from
  • FY 2009 approved
  • 174,365 FY 2010 total projected enrollment
  • 198 schools and centers
  • 12thlargest school system in the country
  • 22,063.2 full-time equivalent positions
  • One of the largest employers in Virginia
  • Academic achievement facts
  • Ninety-eight percent of all FCPS general
    education schools meet or exceed the Virginia
    Standards of Accreditation
  • FCPS student achievement improved in all
    subgroups as measured by the 2007-2008 SOL tests
  • Ninety-three percent of FCPS graduates continue
    on to postsecondary educationFCPSSAT average of
    1654 exceeds both the state average of 1522 and
    the national average of 1511

High-level guidelines inform all prioritization
and tradeoff discussions
Community dialogue provides input into decision
making and increases community understanding
Our case discussion will highlight three core
areas of Fairfaxs budget rationalization efforts.
Overall Budget Process Timeline
Ongoing The School Board monitors school system
performance to ensure that reasonable progress is
made toward meeting student achievement goals
and to ensure that operational expectations are
being met.
  • The intensity and inclusiveness of this years
    budget process was unprecedented in Fairfax.
  • While the timeline at left may appear traditional
    in nature, the details embedded at each stage are
  • FCPS Program Review
  • School Board established Program Review Committee
    to review over 175 FCPS programs and services
  • Series of work sessions with the full School
    Board on the FY 2010 budget
  • Scenario planning resulted in tiered approach
    to reductions for the FY 2010 budget.
  • The Virginia state context
  • The Governors amendments to the Commonwealths
    FY 2010 Adopted Budget were released December 17,
    2008, and resulted in an approximate 7 percent
    reduction to K-12 education
  • Significant changes include
  • Establishing a funding cap on SOQ funded support
  • Eliminating all school construction funding
  • Eliminating a planned 2 percent compensation
  • Reducing sales tax estimates

May- Aug
  • The Superintendent solicits input on budget
    priorities from community groups and employees.
  • The School Board receives a financial forecast,
    framing the underlying assumptions on expected
    costs, revenue, position turnover, inflation, and
    membership that drive budget development.

Sept- Oct
  • Departments and clusters submit budget requests.
  • The chief financial officer and assistant
    superintendents make final baseline budget
    recommendations to the Superintendent and prepare
    per-pupil staffing budgets and compensation

  • The Superintendent works with the School Board
    and the Leadership Team to prioritize recommended
  • The proposed budget is prepared.
  • The proposed budget is finalized.
  • The Governors budget with state revenue
    projections is released.

  • The Superintendent releases the FCPS proposed
  • The Superintendent meets with community, county,
    and employee groups to discuss the proposed
  • The School Board reviews the proposed budget and
    holds work sessions and public hearings.

Feb- March
  • The School Board adopts the FCPS advertised
  • The Superintendent forwards the FCPS advertised
    budget to the County Executive for funding
  • The County Executive releases the countys
    advertised budget including a proposed transfer
    to FCPS.

  • The School Board presents its budget request to
    the Board of Supervisors. The county adopts its
    budget and determines the transfer to FCPS.

  • The School Board holds public hearings and work
    sessions and makes final funding decisions based
    on the most current information.
  • The School Board adopts its approved budget.

Element 1 District Strategic Governance
  • We Believe in Our Children
  • Each child is important and entitled to the
    opportunity to realize his or her fullest
  • High expectations promote high achievement.
  • We Believe in Our Teachers
  • Effective teachers are essential to student
  • Learning occurs best when instruction is tailored
    to individual needs.
  • We Believe in Our Public Education System
  • Adults and children thrive in a vibrant, safe,
    enriching, and respectful environment.
  • A well-rounded education enables students to lead
    fulfilling and culturally rich lives.
  • An educated citizenry is critical to sustaining
    our economy and our system of self-governance.
  • We Believe in Our Community
  • A dynamic partnership among students, parents,
    teachers, staff members, and the community is
    critical to exceptional student achievement.
  • Our diversity creates resilient, , open, and
    innovative citizens of the global community.
  • Looking to the Future
  • FCPS prepares all students for the future by
    giving them a broad spectrum of opportunities to
    prepare for education and employment beyond high
  • All graduates are productive and responsible
    members of society, capable of competing in the
    global economy and motivated to pursue learning
    throughout their lifetimes.
  • Commitment to Opportunity
  • Value of diversity is recognized
  • Opportunities for all to grow educationally,
    personally, and professionally
  • Community Support
  • High levels of volunteerism
  • Community integration and pride
  • Financial and capital support by county citizens
  • Achievement
  • High-levels of outcomes
  • Well rounded experience
  • Broad breadth and depth of opportunities
  • Accountability
  • Academic achievement
  • Fiscal and managerial prudence

  • The proposed budget must be aligned with the
    Strategic Governance Initiative
  • Public School Board priorities for 2010 include
  • State/federal mandates
  • Safe and secure environment
  • Quality academic programs
  • Program and operational efficiency and
  • Competitive salary/benefits
  • Support effective classroom teaching and learning

Student Achievement Goals
Academics All students will obtain, understand,
analyze, communicate, and apply knowledge and
skills to achieve success in school and in life.
Essential Life Skills All students
will demonstrate the aptitude, attitude, and
skills to lead responsible, fulfilling,
and respectful lives.
Responsibility to the Community All students
will understand and model the important attributes
that people must have to contribute to
an effective and productive community and
the common good of all.
Note FCPS Vision has been edited for length
Establishing School Board Priorities
  • Adhere to state/federal mandates (MUST)
  • Ensure safe and secure environment (10)
  • Ensure quality academic programs (Goal 1) (10)
  • Ensure program and operational efficiency and
    effectiveness (9)
  • Maintain competitive salary/benefits (9)
  • Maintain support for effective classroom teaching
    and learning (9)
  • Emphasize K-3 (early investment) (8)
  • Support Goal 2 / Essential Life Skills (7)
  • Provide resources for students not meeting
    academic expectations (7)
  • Support lifelong learning (6)
  • Support Goal 3 / Responsibility to the Community
  • Minimize negative impact on families (6)
  • Foster relationships with community (4)

Ranking of the criteria to ensure quality
academic programs
Priority Ranking
  • The FCPS school board formed base prioritization
    guidelines for budget rationalization.
  • Priority order and importance needed to be
    established at the outset in order to create
    appropriate responses to various budget cut

Deficit and Tiered Reductions Fairfaxs
Group Discussion
Tiered Reduction Approach
FCPS Projected 2010 Deficit by Source
Tier 1
  • Needs-based
  • Reflects fiscal constraints, increased
    efficiencies, and reductions
  • Recoverable reductions in programs and services
  • 175 FCPS programs needed to be reviewed for
  • Keeping as-is
  • Reduction
  • Restructuring
  • Elimination
  • Gap-closure scenarios were created for three
    tiers of potential total budget cuts, ranging
    from the more moderate needs-based scenario that
    most closely aligns with board strategy, and an
    extreme scenario of dramatic cuts forced by
    level-funding from the county.

43 Million
Tier 2
  • Funding increase from the County to cover
    membership growth and a decrease in state revenue
  • Significant reductions in programs and services
  • Recover within decade

123 Million
Tier 3
  • No change in County funding from FY 2009
  • Severe reductions in programs and
    services/non-attainment of state standards
  • Requires decades to recover

219 Million
Element 2 Community Input and Collaboration
Phase 2 Identify specific strategies to
address projected shortfall of more than 400
million in FY 2010
Phase 1 Produce Detailed information on County
and FCPS services to Inform and Educate
  • A comprehensive framework was put in place to
    obtain community input to achieve the following
  • Provide clarity and inform the public about
    budget information and the budget process
  • Provide opportunity for public and employees to
    make suggestions and share concerns about
    services and proposed areas for reduction
  • Achieve community-wide input by soliciting
  • Fall meetings between agency staff and the Board
    of Supervisors
  • Call on the expertise of County and FCPS staff
  • Inform the Board about the agencys Lines of
  • Identify possible reductions, reduction
  • Identify trends, challenges and issues facing the
  • Enhance community participation and input early
    in the process
  • Addition of fall public input process in addition
    to spring public hearings
  • Website, Hotline, Community Dialogues
  • Both the County LOBS and the Schools Program
    Review provide information on
  • How/why programs and services are provided?
  • Who is served?
  • What resources (people and dollars) are
  • Mandates, performance measures, outcomes, and
    detailed budget information

Community Engagement Tactics w/County
  • Through community dialogue meetings, employee
    brownbags and surveys, online and telephone fora
    for public questions, suggestions and comments,
    the county and school district have engaged in a
    more robust public input process at an earlier
    juncture than in any budget cycle in recent
  • Additionally, the parallel and highly visible
    Lines of Business process, with all associated
    agency presentations and documents available
    online, has brought an even greater amount of
    transparency than was already provided through
    the publication of all budget documents on the
    County website.

Qualitative Quantitative Research
Office of Public Affairs Outreach
  • 20 community dialogue meetings
  • 72 Facilitated Groups with 718 participants
  • Structured discussion and data capture
  • Employee Outreach
  • Employee associations
  • E-mail communication open meetings
  • Employee brownbags (19 facilitated small groups
    with 197 participants)
  • Employee Survey
  • TIPS (To Improve Programs and Services) e-mail
    and phone submission
  • Meetings with Superintendents advisory councils
    and community groups
  • School Board Program Review Committee
  • 2 news releases
  • 2 Washington Post ads
  • 2 Fairfax County times ads
  • 1900 flyers distributed to school and community
  • 300 posters posted at Schools and County
  • extensive use of Channel 16 and social media
    public service announcements
  • prominently featuring the budget landing page on
    the County's website throughout the fall

Small Group Discussions Results Tabulation
Group Discussion w/handouts
Small Group Discussion Questions
  • Considering what you value about Fairfax County,
    what services do you
  • View as critical and oppose reductions that would
    change the quality and level of service
  • View as important but in this fiscal environment
    would support certain reductions
  • View as non-essential and are willing to do
  • Based on your groups discussion surrounding
    question 1, what specific suggestions do you
    have to develop the FY 2010 budget?
  • What do you want County and School
    decision-makers to consider before making their
    final decision on the FY 2010 budget?
  • As part of the community dialogues, 72
    facilitated small groups containing 718 total
    members of the public were asked 3 questions in
    their facilitated small group discussions.
  • This data was used to confirm hypotheses and
    inform senior executive input into the budget
  • Detailed summaries have been provided on the
    County website.

Additional 2-way Communications Vehicles
  • Benefits from these communications vehicles are
  • Rich information is calculated and disseminated
    in a structured manner
  • Public concerns and questions are responded to,
    creating a high customer service touchpoint for
    the district.

Board member requests were responded to by the
administration and posted for public consumption.
Similarly, public requests for answers to
budget-related questions were responded to and
posted for broad public consumption.
Element 3 Program Budget Budget Process
  • Since FY 2003, Fairfax County Public Schools
    (FCPS) has released a program budget document,
    presenting the total resources allocated to each
    educational program.
  • The Program Budget is a companion document to the
    Approved Budget book which displays resources in
    broad educational categories such as elementary,
    middle, and high school.
  • The FY 2009 Program Budget details expenditures,
    positions, offsetting revenue, and net cost by
  • It also includes the Student Achievement Goal and
    subgoal that each program supports, a program
    description, the method of service provision, an
    explanation of cost, program contacts, list of
    mandates, and outcomes.
  • With this detailed information, the program
    budget serves as a valuable tool for FCPS and the
    School Board to use when making programmatic and
    budgetary decisions.

Example Program Economics Format Instructional
  • The program budget narratives are designed to
    provide program information and costs in a clear
    and consistent manner.
  • Program narratives provide detailed information
    including a program description, method of
    service provision, and an explanation of costs.
  • Program charts provide two years of financial
    data (detailed by full-time salaries, part-time
    salaries and overtime, employee benefits,
    operating expenses, positions, total program
    costs, offsetting revenue, and net cost of the
    program), supporting department, program contact,
    phone number, web site, list of mandates, and
  • Additionally, the header on each chart clearly
    links the program to a specific Student
    Achievement Goal.

Example Program Economics Structure
Division-wide Programs
  • Budgets for Divisionwide Programs and Centrally
    Managed Programs are shown by expenditure type.

Budget Rationalization Team Discussion Structure
  • Core Budget Team
  • Superintendent
  • Superintendents leadership team
  • Budget Director
  • The team met weekly, and discussed budget
    reduction on a program-by-program, line-by-line
    basis through all district programs and
  • Each team meeting was limited to a few hours, as
    the team realized that productive working time
    had a limit due to the intensity of the
  • Electronic voting technology (TurningPoint) was
    used to take real-time votes of program
    direction during the team meetings.
  • Clear consensus or problem areas were immediately
    identified in a quasi-confidential manner.

Spreadsheet Tracking Discussion Tool
Tiered Budget Reduction Approach Spreadsheet
Tracking Tool
Tier 3 Response
Program Budget
Tier 2 Response
Tier 1 Response
  • Note the emphasis of the leadership team
    discussions was to not defend the status quo, but
    rather to justify the very existence of each
    program and ratchet up from that starting point.

Discussion Sample Program Budget Review
Group Discussion w/handouts
  • What do you like about this format? What do you
  • Is there sufficient data included in these
    snapshots to allow for good senior-level
    discussions about budget prioritization and
  • Can sacred cows be tackled this way?
  • What is missing?

Appendix Fairfax 2010 Revenue Sources
  • The FY 2010 county transfer is projected to
    increase by 56.8 million, or 3.5 percent, over
    the FY 2009 estimate and the FY 2009 approved.
  • 76.2 percent of the budget is funded by the
  • A beginning balance of 20.0 million is included
    in the FY 2010 budget.
  • When compared with other school divisions in
    Virginia, Fairfax County funds a much larger
    portion of its school budget with county funds.
  • The average Virginia school division receives
    approximately half of its financial support from
    its local government, while FCPS must rely on
    county funds for more than three-quarters of its

Appendix Proposed Budget Reductions
Fairfax County Support Documents
For the full collection of budget support
documents, please visit the Fairfax County Public
Schools website.
Fairfax Opportunities
  • Summer School
  • Adult Education
  • College Preparedness
  • Staffing Based on Needs
  • Pet Program/Projects
  • Support vs. Classroom Staffing
  • Teacher Leadership

Federal Stimulus Opportunities
  • State Funds from Federal Government
  • Title I
  • IDEA