School board

Reductions in funding from the state are in large part responsible for the school board’s request for increased county funds. “ Back in June of 2014, the General Assembly finally came together with the governor on the budget… the calculated amount for us was $19,406,467.   That was based on an average daily membership (ADM) of 3,526.15,” said Ed Breslauer, finance director of Fluvanna schools.  “On Dec. 17, Governor McAuliffe released his proposed budget amendment, and the department of education released their new budget template based on that.  When you use the exact same ADM that the General Assembly and Governor McDonnell had in their budget we are $111,196 short – even though we have the same number of students.”

“That is about two teachers,” said Breslauer, “or say three to four secretaries, or four to five custodians; five to six aides or six to seven bus drivers.  We are going to have to make it up,”Breslauer said, “and that is with us having the exact same number of students.”

The state is resorting to sleight of hand to make it appear as if they are giving more funds to specific school programs, when in fact some programs have been dealt an almost 50% reduction in funding. “One of those areas,” said Breslauer, “is the school breakfast program.  The school breakfast program under the budget that came out in June that the General Assembly adopted and Governor McDonnell signed gave us $13,978.   In Governor McAuliffe’s proposed budget from Dec. 17 for the same line we get $8,032 -almost a $6,000 reduction,” Breslauer explained.  “Then, in the next fiscal year in the school breakfast program,it goes up – we get an increase of just about $1,600.  This makes it look as if the school breakfast program is getting an increase – but in reality it is a considerable drop from the funding we originally had.  Then the state’s press release talks about how you are getting more money for breakfasts – sure you are– because you gave us less money than when we started.”

Another component of the $1.3 million in additional funding the school board may request is the board’s desire to “hold harmless” school employees from increases in health insurance costs.  The school board wants to pay those increases, and not pass along the additional costs to its employees.  “We are projecting a 5% premium increase,” said Breslauer.  “The board wants to make sure that a pay increase is a pay increase, so that is $310,000 to cover the premium increase, and that impacts 75-77% of our staff.  There will also be changes to the salary scale – all of our employees will benefit from that.

“We are looking at adding some teaching positions – a new English teacher at the high school, for instance – and also looking at monies for professional development, to help our teachers meet their licensure requirements.  That will run about $190,000” Breslauer said.  “Lastly there is the technology replacement schedule – to take the oldest equipment out of service and keep our equipment running will be about $300,000.”

There is some good news about this year’s budget, though – the school board may not have to ask the county to fund budget shortfalls for this year.  “We are watching closely – we have been really rigorous on controlling our expenditures,” said Breslauer.  “The revenue is going to continue to be tight, but that is because we have a tight budget.  We are in a pretty good spot right now,” he added.  “Better, I think, than last year.”  He credited lower fuel costs and a decrease in premiums for disability insurance as well as a more accurate estimate of Average Daily Membership with making this year’s budget manageable.









Related Posts

dewi88 cuanslot dragon77 cuan138 enterslots rajacuan megahoki88 ajaib88 warung168 fit188 pusatwin pusatwin slot tambang88 mahkota88 slot99 emas138