From: Charles & Linda McAndrew / 12808 Willow Glen Ct / Oak Hill, VA 20171
|To:||Mrs. Sharon Bulova
Chairman, Fairfax Co
Board of Supervisors
|Mr. Michael Frey
Fairfax Co Board
|Ms. Tamara D. Kaufax
Chairman, Fairfax Co
|Ms. Kathy Smith
Member, Fairfax Co
Dear Mrs. Bulova, Mr. Frey, Ms. Kaufax, and Ms. Smith:
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BUDGETS CUTS IN FRINGE BENEFITS
Based in data provided by the Fairfax Federation of Citizens Association (FCFCA), raising the retirement age to 66 for all new employees could eventually save $150 million. It is now time for Fairfax County to consider offering a 401(k) plan for new employees as an option. From what we have read, the "millennials", those who are born from 1980 through the early 2000's often change jobs in their career and therefore should be offered a more flexible retirement package. The Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) allows employees to establish their retirement dates three years in advance. During the three years, they continue to work their job and receive their salary while three years of pension benefits are accrued, then they are paid a lump sum upon retirement. Dropping the DROP could save $33 million in eventual savings according to the FCFCA. Adding a $2,000 health deductible for each employee could save $44 million per year according to the FCFCA. We understand that a few plans do have deductibles but nevertheless, this area should be carefully reviewed for potential savings.
Isn't it time for the county officials to change the retirement plan for new employees to a 401(k) type retirement plan and raise the retirement age to 66, which is the Social Security age requirement? The Federal Government changed their retirement plan for all new employees from the generous Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) to the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) in 1986. FERS is a hybrid retirement plan much less generous than the CSRS. The union dominated states have retirement ages as follows: Illinois 67, Vermont 65, California 65, and New Jersey 65.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BUDGETS CUTS IN THE SCHOOL BUDGET
According to the Fairfax County Public School (FCPS) budget, the FCPS took in 1,373 "unaccompanied minors" i.e., illegal aliens at a cost of over $20 million, based on the average cost per pupil of $14,670 for a English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). The Obama administration "dumped" these kids into our FCPS without any remuneration which is beyond outrageous! We understand that the FCPS school board sent letters to our Congressmen and U.S. Senators to recoup these funds. We encourage the County Board to continue to pursue obtaining this reimbursement. FCPS has around 188,000 students for FY 2016; from this number, there are approximately 32,000 ESOL students at a average cost each of $14,670. This costs the taxpayers of Fairfax County approximately $471 million in FY 2016. Let's estimate that approximately half of them are children of illegal parents; that could cost the FCPS (i.e Fx Co taxpayers) over $230 million.
We realize that this is a Federal issue, but the county should still be pursing this major cost problem with the Department of Homeland Security. The FCPS officials should be reviewing why the higher officials in administration are receiving greater pay increases than the teachers. Why are there Cluster Directors? What purpose do they serve? Why do they need so many Assistant Principals? There could be some cost cutting in these areas! According to the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance (FCTA), between FY2000 and FY2015 public school spending and staff will have increased faster than enrollment. During this time, the school budget increased from $1.271 billion to $2.561 billion, or 101.4%, while the school staff increased from 19,019 to 23,799, or 25.1%. Meanwhile, enrollment increased from 155,523 to 188,104, or 21.7% during this period. Isn't it time for "zero based budgeting"?
We look forward to your comments. Thank you for your attention.
Charles McAndrew and Linda McAndrew