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F.C. School Board Chair Cautions Council About Low Morale in Schools

Falls Church City School Board chair Joan Wodiska told the F.C. City Council tonight that, after attending meetings of the faculties and staffs of all four City schools, morale is “at an all time low” in the schools and “stress levels are palpable.” She said that teachers complained of growing class sizes and diminished “quality time” with students, due to the eight percent cut in the school budget last year.

She added that a “zero growth” school budget this year also means a cut, given increased enrollment and other factors, and that following a seven-and-a-half School Board work session last Saturday left the board members considering budget requests ranging from zero growth to a four percent increase.

She reported that teachers she and Vice Chair Pat Riccards met with said they’d prefer smaller class sizes and avoiding layoffs more important than pay increases. The School Board is expected to forward its budget request to the City Manager on Feb 15.