Loudoun County School Superintendent Edgar B. Hatrick III presented the School Board with a proposed $876.4 million budget for fiscal 2014 on Thursday, a plan that Hatrick said includes the costs of rising enrollment and the opening of two elementary schools but allows for no new programs.
The plan would increase current school spending by about $53 million but could nonetheless leave the public school system with a potentially substantial shortfall. In October, the Board of Supervisors directed County Administrator Tim Hemstreet to prepare a fiscal 2014 budget that would cut funding for schools as a way of lowering the county property tax rate by 3 cents per $100 of assessed value.
Those cuts would reduce the amount of county funds allocated to the schools by about $2.5 million, leaving Hatrick’s proposal with a possible funding gap of about $56 million.
Hatrick emphasized that the school system is operating with maximum efficiency and that the proposal keeps costs as low as possible while accounting for the addition of about 2,500 students next fall.