Fairfax County Public Schools: Never Enough Money

Stephanie Lundquist-Arora | February 20, 2024

(Washington Examiner) — This week, Fairfax County’s school board is scheduled to adopt its fiscal 2025 proposed budget, totaling $3.8 billion, an 8.6% increase of $301.8 million from fiscal 2024. Rather than adding tax dollars to an already egregiously inflated sum, the local school district desperately needs a zero-based budgeting process, an external audit, and continued oversight.

The fiscal 2025 budget increase includes a 6% market scale pay increase for all employees, totaling $170.7 million. While a market scale pay increase might make sense for lower-paid employees such as teachers and bus drivers, given inflation, it is not at all clear why the district’s administrators need a pay increase.

Fairfax County’s public schools’ administrators’ salaries are already much too high. In 2022, Superintendent Michelle Reid’s annual salary was $380,000, more than double Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s salary the same year, $164,394. In comparison, the average national public school superintendent’s salary in 2022 was $121,209.

In fact, many of Fairfax County’s school district administrators are earning more than the governor of the commonwealth. At least 21 of the district’s administrators made significantly more than Youngkin in 2022. For example, the chief equity officer, Nardos King, made $232,074. 

Despite being a controversial pick for the arguably unnecessary administrative position, and her already suspiciously high salary, King is unresponsive to the district’s parents. Still, as one of the local school district’s employees with a salary already higher than the top-paid federal administrator at the Department of Education, she will enjoy an almost $14,000 raise in the proposed school budget.