Loudoun school board seeks advice on spending $8.5 million surplus

Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) is anticipating an end-of-year surplus of $8.5 million for the fiscal year ending June 30th.

This represents 1.19 percent of the Fiscal Year 2011 school operating budget of $710,345,662. This savings has been accumulated through fuel economy, not filling vacant positions and other cost-cutting measures.

LCPS Superintendent Edgar B. Hatrick III will propose to the School Board that $4.018 million of this undesignated money be used to alleviate an instructional inequity in elementary schools by completing the installation of interactive white boards.

Almost 60 percent of LCPS elementary classrooms are already equipped with interactive white boards, creating a definite inequity in our system. 481 of the 838 boards that would be purchased with the surplus funds would be added to kindergarten, first, second, third, and fourth grade classrooms not currently equipped with this important teaching device.

“I cannot emphasize enough the value of this teaching device in our 21st century classrooms and the inequity that is created for some of our students and teachers when (the boards) are absent,”  Hatrick wrote in a message to the School Board. “ Parents and schools have realized this need to the extent that PTA’s are trying to purchase a few interactive white boards… to bring their schools up to parity. Principals are ecstatic about this recommendation and tell me that their parents will be also…

“I realize that there has been some negative discussion at times from officials outside the school system about funding for interactive white boards, but we are beyond that discussion in our instructional program. With all middle and high school installations complete and 60 percent of…elementary classrooms equipped, those without interactive white boards are at a definite disadvantage for accessing instructional materials…”

To see the action item before the school board concerning end-of-year funds, click here.

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