Public Weighs In On ACPS Budget

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Alexandria community members seized the opportunity to make clear their feelings about the proposed ACPS budget for FY 2010, expressing concerns over how potential staffing cuts may affect programming.

Many participants in the January 22 public hearing, held at ACPS headquarters, also voiced their gratitude for officials efforts to reduce overall costs and still champion student achievement during the current economic climate.

The majority of those coming before the board spoke to proposed cuts in Latin teaching positions, technology resource teachers and music instructors. All championed the value and skill of the staff that could be affected by the cut.

We are not eliminating Latin at George Washington Middle School, and we have German at Francis Hammond we are not eliminating that either, ACPS Superintendent Morton Sherman said. Those languages will continue we are not recommending the elimination of the languages.
Sherman explained that staffing is being consolidated due to exceptionally small class sizes and that officials have tried to make budgeting decisions based on programs rather than individual staff members.

The budget proposal included a reduction of one full-time Latin post, leaving two and a half full-time equivalent positions at the middle school level. Proposed decreases in music instruction staffing at secondary schools is part of an effort to reallocate resources across the school division, according to the budget.

Were not cutting programs, were not eliminating sports, Sherman said. All of the stuff that makes our school division great will continue.

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