Loudoun County School Board Discusses the FY23 Budget Plan

On Jan. 25, the Loudoun County School School Board covered the Superintendent’s proposed FY23 budget plan, which addressed funding for the LCPS Digital Innovation and Human Resources and Talent Development departments.


Created by Amelia Chen

On Jan. 25, the school board met to discuss the FY23 budgeting plan and its adoption process. The plan aims to help the Digital Innovation and Human Resources and Talent Development departments combat issues faced by LCPS.

On Jan. 25, the LCPS School Board discussed the Superintendents FY23 Budget Plan of over $1.5 billion, which aims to eliminate both athletic and parking fees and is approximately a 5.9% increase in funds from the FY22 Budget Proposal of over $1.3 billion. 

After receiving this news, there were an overwhelming number of public commenters expressing their disappointment in the lack of fiscal compensation given to theater programs in the county. After hearing about the elimination of athletic and parking fees from the FY23 budget, public commenters argued that the new budget was not equitable and to fix this issue fees should also be eliminated in fine arts programs.

Junior Julia Freeman, senior Maddie Kesler, and sophomore Kaia Greene advocated for equitable funding for theater programs in LCPS during the public comment section. “Theater [has] had such a positive impact on my life over the years and performing helps me focus, release stress, and ground myself and my identity,” Freeman said. “Without theater I wouldn’t be the same person today and my teachers who spend countless unpaid hours to give us these life-changing experiences should be paid equitably with athletic coaches.”

Many students who are also involved in the performing arts program, or RRPA, wish that a larger portion of the county’s budget could be used to compensate directors. “I think it’s great that funds are going towards the fine arts, in general,” senior Sai Evani said. “[Especially] because it’s often a place that is underfinanced.”

The board also acknowledged the positive effect that technology has on early education. They discussed funding digital innovation through providing secure, one-to-one one technology (a term for having at least one accessible form of technology for each student), and IT services for students early on in their educational career. 

Denise Corbo, t-large school board member, supported Ziegler’s digital innovation notion, which aims to improve LCPS’s early education system. “I want to echo on what Dr. Zielger stated; as a former kindergarten teacher, the critical skills that are learned earlier do carry [on] throughout [students’] education,” Corbo said.

Chief Human Resources Officer Lisa Boland briefly reviewed the FY23 budget and how it will improve the human resources and talent Development, which provides support to LCPS full-time, part-time, hourly, and administrative employees who are all licensed and classified for their position.

“The specialist approach [due to the FY23 budget] allows the HRTD staff to focus on a specific Human Resources function, increase expertise in that area, develop well defined goals and processes, and time frames that positively impact efficiencies while better serving students, staff, and community members,” Boland said.

Boland also addressed two categories of the superintendent’s estimate of needs: the investment in employee experience and continuous improvement. One budget plan shared by Boland for the HRTD department is the Substitute Program Support, which aims to hire experts in the job administration field to streamline the substitute teacher hiring process and, hopefully, combat the teacher/substitute shortage schools in the county face. Boland’s plan consists of allocating a portion of the budget towards improving efficiency in the HRTD department as funding for the Substitute Program. Another portion of the FY23 budget will be set aside for the department to hire a pre-employment specialist and a Human Resource Information Systems analyst with the goal of not only speeding up the hiring process, but also improving the quality of substitutes hired by LCPS. “I think [the hiring of new substitutes] is great; we are experiencing a shortage because of COVID and being able to hire more with the increased budget would be beneficial to all schools,” Evani said. 

The Loudoun County School Board concluded their Jan. 25 meeting that focused on the Fiscal Year 23 Budget plan. This included plans to hire more substitute teachers and implement a system that will do this more efficiently, the plan also included extra funds for fine arts departments in schools. The next school board meeting will take place on Feb. 8.