The news that it will cost 2.56 per cent, or $100,846, more to run the Falls Church school system next year sparked little response from the bill-paying public at a budget hearing last week.
At the public hearing, sponsored by the school broad, the reaction to the $4.04 million package was mixed. The Falls Church Education Association told the broaad it was pleased with proposals for high starting salaries for teachers and a cost-of-living increase of 6.27 per cent. However, William Trujillio of the Madison, and one parent, Catherine Arons, cricitized a request for a $700 microwave oven for the home economics department at George Mason Junior-Senior High School.
If approved by the city council, the budget would require a tax increase of two cents on the $100 assessed valuation.
The school board has scheduled another public hearing on the budget for 8:15 p.m. Tuesday at the board chambers, 419 W. Broad St. Board Chairman Elizabeth Blystone said the light turnout last week was primarily because the hearing was scheduled so close to the holidays. She said expected a larger response Tuesday.
Despite a number of suggesred increases in salries, equipment costs and tuition assistance for handicapped students, Superintendent Warren Pace was able to keep the rate of increase in the operating budget lower than last year's, which was 6.77 per cent higher than the year before.
Blystone said the lower rate was primarily because of the school board's decision to temporarily close one of its three elementary schools for renovations.
The school, Thomas Jefferson Elementary, will be closed for one year beginning in June. During the time it is closed, the school system will save more than $327,000 in operating costs. The renovations, which will be paid for through a bond issue from the capital improvements budget, will total $1.138 million. Debt service costs on the bond issue will be included in the operating budget for the 1979-80 school year.
Other savings for the next school year will result from a staff reduction of 14 brought on by the temporary closing of the school. School board staff member Dougles Scott said the district hopes to eliminate those positions through attrition.
The proposed operating budget reflects an enrollment of 1,261 students in three buildings. The enrollment, which has been declining for several years, is expected to continue its downward trend and will result in a net loss of $6,713 in state aid.