If you are a parent or student at a Prince William County school, some recent news should have you smiling.

Everybody knows that governments at every level have been facing tough financial decisions in light of the fact that our nation’s economy is still on shaky ground. The Prince William County school system, when formulating its 2011 budget, had a particularly hard choice to make.

In the original budget proposed by Superintendent Steven L. Walts, more than 700 school system jobs were slated for cuts. Naturally, that would have significantly impacted the nature of the student experience. There would have been fewer teachers and support staff in the schools to facilitate and nurture learning.

In March, the county school system realized that the number of layoffs could be reduced to a number closer to 200 as a result of then-current budget projections. The number was still worrisome, but just like that, hundreds of jobs appeared safe.

If things had stopped there, this would be a different, more depressing story; but, fortunately, the school system has managed to gradually whittle the number of layoffs down to zero. That’s right, not a single person is being laid off in the Prince William county school system.

Every resource a student can get his or her hands on is valuable, especially when it comes to human resources. How many of us can remember the people who in some way shaped our lives? There were the teachers who inspired us to pursue our passions, the administrators who set our feet on the straight and narrow path of success, the staff members who made us feel at home. With every job cut, a student loses a chance to meet one of those special people.

But now, that is no longer a worry. Parents and students can rest easy knowing that all their favorite — and perhaps not-so-favorite — school system employees will be at the schools for some time to come. Unless, of course, they choose to leave on their own.

To read the latest article about the school layoffs, go to Inside Nova.