Charles City School Board adopts FY2022-23 budget with reduced county funding
Charles City County High School’s School Board adopted their 2022-23 budget during a special meeting Friday evening.
School board officials voted 4-0 to adopt a local contribution of $5,486,095 for the upcoming fiscal year.
Prior to the vote, school board members heard a presentation from Superintendent of Schools Dalphine Joppy about the change in local dollars. Charles City County’s Board of Supervisors chose to reduce their original recommended amount of $6,018,997 to the new amount at their May 24 regular meeting, citing the dwindling enrollment in school population.
Both boards have commented publicly that the budgets may change due to the state not having a budget as of today, but the more than $500,000 in reductions did not sit favorably with school leaders.
While the budget may be adopted by the schools, Joppy said that her first priority is to find a way to get employees five-percent raises.
“We are going to have to get very creative with this,” she advised board members. “We may have to utilize grant-funding, but you know most of those are one time uses.
“We have to make it work for our employees,” Joppy continued. “They have worked very hard and diligently and this year has been very hard on them. Five percent is the least of what they are worth.”
Joppy added that there may be some savings due to employees leaving and new ones coming in. Still, District 3 school board member Martha Harris expressed heartache on making such choices.
“It’s just kind of bad that we have to do this,” she commented. “We know the money that’s leaving (through departing employees), but we don’t know who we are going to be able to attract. We have to attract the best that we can.
“Not only didn’t we get the $250,000 added request, but we then get another $400,000 taken off from their proposal of level funding,” Harris continued. “We always had to gut programs, and this is just a repeat of what we’ve been going through. Prices of gas and household needs are going up. And just like that, we’re expected to do the same with less.”
The school board was required by law to adopt a budget by May 30. They can amend the budget prior to the beginning of the next fiscal year, which commences July 1.