New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | February 22, 2019

Growth factors into New Kent schools $33.4 million budget recommendation for 2018-19

By Andre Jones | February 5, 2018 9:44 pm

With the expectation that student population will continue to grow, New Kent Superintendent of Schools Dave Myers proposed his recommended 2018-19 budget to school leaders Monday night.

The superintendent recommended a total budget of $33,414,475 for county schools as part of his 2018-19 recommendation. The total overall request is $1,186,400 more than the current year’s budget.

The schools’ general fund, consisting of the operating budget, is pegged at $30,919,172, which is an increase of $975,016. Of that amount, state revenue is expected to increase by $561,216. The school system is requesting county funding for the upcoming year in the amount $14,354,595, approximately $400,000 more than the county’s contribution to the current fiscal year’s budget.

The biggest factor for the additional ask by schools is the addition of five teachers due to expected growth and program support. Along with the additional of a paraprofessional and additional lead teacher for the high school’s special education, the position and staff changes (including a $10,755 reduction due to shifting positions between the general fund and grant fund) is expected to cost $362,151.

Salary adjustments as part of the additional ask include a proposed step and wage adjustment for staff ($428,228), additions/modifications ($115,351), and stipend schedule ($4,391). There is also a savings in that department, as a decrease in VRS and HIC rates ($116,747) and a FICA adjustment ($25,000) will also save money. In total, approximately $406,223 is proposed for FY2018-19 salaries.

“The two-percent raise plus adding five positions is the lion’s share of the ask for additional funds,” Myers said. “We are trying to offer the most that we can and have the minimum what we need.

“There is a lot of growth in the county and schools that we are going to have to manage,” the superintendent continued. “While we have done a good job in the past the Weldon-Cooper report and seeing the new houses come in, the bigger issue we are facing is how much growth we will have along with birth rates.

“You can expect future budgets that you will see new teachers being requested every year in the future,” Myers concluded.

Other factors taken into consideration includes budgeting for an expected three-percent increase in health care rates, an increase in regional programs and tuition ($44,548), and additions to support special education as the result of mandates ($83,000).

Future additional funding considerations include a testing coordinator being split between the middle and high school, an assistant principal split at the elementary level, support position for management of health and employee benefits, and various pay scale adjustments to recruit and retain staff.

School board members, along with Myers, will make a pitch to county leaders for the funding at a Feb. 22 joint work session.