A horticulturist for the Arlington school system? It’s among a number of specialty positions expected to be funded as part of the proposed $580 million fiscal 2017 budget.

Noting that the school system is growing and its facilities are expanding, “we need someone to help us keep our trees healthy,” School Board member Barbara Kanninen said.

After years of cutting back total staff, the school system now appears to be more willing to hire – additional psychologists and social workers are on the horizon, as is a public-engagement specialist for the School Board.

“This is not fluff,” Kanninen said at a meeting with delegates of the Arlington County Civic Federation. “This is stuff we truly need.”

Funding for the new positions would kick in July 1.

"

"