Bad decision costs FCPS reputation and budget

FCPS+pays+the+price-+teachers+will+now+be+compensated+with+administrative+leave+to+be+used+sometime+during+this+school+year.+

FCPS pays the price- teachers will now be compensated with administrative leave to be used sometime during this school year.

FCPS pays the price- teachers will now be compensated with administrative leave to be used sometime during this school year.

FCPS pays the price–teachers will now be compensated with administrative leave to be used some time during this school year.

By: Sabrein Gharad, Veronica Kim, and Asma Khalid

A&E Editor, Reporter, and Online A&E Editor

On Tuesday, Jan. 6, FCPS students spent their morning waiting for the county’s decision of whether school would be opened, delayed or closed. Most of the other counties affected by this weather announced their delays or cancellations while Fairfax did not alter or cancel the school day.

This decision not only put students, teachers and parents in danger, but it will also affect the county’s already tight budget.

The most costly repercussion of the decision to keep Fairfax County schools open is the compensation Superintendent Karen Garza granted to all employees. In addition to allowing those who missed school on Tuesday to have administrative leave, rather than sick or personal leave, the privilege was extended to those who made it to school that day.

“For those employees who reported to work today, January 6, 2015, you will be granted a day of administrative leave to be used at some time during the remainder of this school year,” Garza said.

Garza’s decision to grant all FCPS staff who came to school on Jan. 6 one day of administrative leave is a much more costly decision than it appears. Typically, when a teacher uses his/her sick/personal leave it is already factored into the county’s budget. However, due to the county’s slip-up, the county will have to pay for the substitutes on days of administrative leave in addition to paying for them on teachers’ sick/personal days.

Each teacher can only utilize this once in the 2015 school year, but the costs will add up quickly. McLean High School has a staff of approximately 180 teachers. Substitutes are paid around $90 a day. If every teacher at McLean High utilizes their day of administrative leave, this will amount in the county paying around $16,200 to substitutes. If all teachers in the 22 high schools in FCPS utilize their administrative leave the county would be paying around $356,400 in substitute fees.

FCPS also houses 23 middle schools and 139 elementary schools. With all of this taken into account, the county would end up dishing out around three million dollars in substitute fees by the end of the 2015 school year.

FCPS will be feeling the repercussions of their dangerous and costly decision well into the future.