DOMENECH THREATENS TO INCREASE CLASS SIZE WHILE PROTECTING ADMINISTRATION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
FEBRUARY 14, 2000
CONTACT: ARTHUR PURVES
TAXPAYERS ALLIANCE: DOMENECH THREATENS TO INCREASE CLASS SIZE WHILE PROTECTING ADMINISTRATION
Arthur G. Purves, president of the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance, today criticized Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Daniel A. Domenech, for threatening to increase class size to save $23 million while making only token cuts in administration.
"The school budget has increased much, much faster than enrollment and inflation, primarily during the 80s," Mr. Purves said. In 1975, a staff of 11,500 taught an enrollment of 135,000 students at an average cost per student of $4200 (in FY2000 dollars). Current enrollment is 157,000 students. If staff had increased at the same rate as enrollment since 1975, the school staff today would be 13,400, or almost 6000 employees less than the current staff of 19,300. If spending had increased at the same rate as enrollment and inflation, the school budget today would be $660 million, or $640 million less than the current budget of $1.3B. Despite this enormous increase in staff and spending, test scores have not improved and student behavior is worse.
Since 1975, Fairfax County Public Schools has spent over $9 billion more than was required to keep up with enrollment and inflation. Of that, over $6 billion has been spent since 1990. That would be enough money to build the Dulles Metro, the I-66 Metro, and a new Woodrow Wilson Bridge.
Purves recommended that Dr. Domenech cut by 50%-75% the Instructional Services Department, Department of Student Services and Special Education, and the Department of Information Technology, whose budgets total more than $50 million. Purves concluded, "Instructional Services continually churns the curriculum without improving it. Student Services has failed to control the growth of the Learning Disabilities program because it relies on social workers and psychologists rather than phonics, traditional math, and drill. Precipitous computerization has failed to raise achievement or reduce administrative costs."