Falls Church City Schools’ Superintendent Peter Noonan briefed the F.C. City Council on the schools’ funding request for the coming fiscal year Monday night, and noted that, in seeking only a 2.15 percent increase, its ask is for the lowest increase in the entire region.
The increase comes in below a 4.9 percent increase in Arlington, a 4.3 percent increase in Alexandria, a 4.1 percent increase in Fairfax County, a 7.9 percent increase in Loudoun, a 3.5 percent increase in Manassas City, a 4.07 percent increase in Manassas Park, a 2.5 percent increase in Montgomery County, a 2.8 percent increase in Prince George’s County and a 4.4 percent increase in Prince William County. Noonan said he doubted the schools would be able to repeat that low increase again next year, as enrollment this fall is expected to grow to 2,669 students this fall. Over time, he said, an annual student growth of 3 to 4 percent is expected, while the City schools maintain a 24-1 secondary school classroom size compared to 29-1 for Fairfax County.
The F.C. Schools’ International Baccalaureate program, he said, given that it serves all the students in the system, unlike Finland, Singapore or Korea, is among the best on the planet. “I’d put us up against anyone in the world in a heartbeat,” he told the Council.