Fairfax County School Superintendent S. John Davis recommended canceling plans for buying some new equipment and making cuts in funds for special education to accommodate $1.4 million in budget cuts made by the County Board of Supervisors.
New musical instruments, bookcases and maps, microscopes and typewriters would not be ordered next year if the School Board approves the recommendation later this month. In addition, teacher-pupil ratios in, for example, classes for the learning disabled, would be reduced.
The county school system was the major victim of budget cutting this year as the supervisors sought at reduce spending in order to grant tax relief to Fairfax citizens. The $1.4 million cut was in a school budget request of $180.9 million.
If approved by the school board at its next meeting May 24, about $491,000 included in the advertised budget for additional equipment would be eliminated. This would slow down county plans to bring equipment in older schools up to the standards of that in newer schools.
Another cut of $145,000, would reduce by 10 the number of teacher positions in four of the county's special education programs-for preschool, the emotionally disturbed, the mildly retarded and hearing impaired childred.
The cuts in special education would bring teacher-student ratios close to ratios permitted by the state. At present teacher-student ratios exceed those, according to school board officials.
School board members Ruth Dell from the Mount Vernon Districat and Ann Kahn from the Providence District expressed concern over these cuts. "This is not an exercise to reach state ratios," said Dell, asking for more information from the school administration.
Antother big cut would come in the amount available to the superintendent for emergencies. The recommendation calls for a reduction from $246,595 to $155,391 available for breakdowns n equipment, such as boilers, and emergency snow removal.
Superintendent Davis said he felt the recommendations as presented would have the least impact possible on the instructional program.