New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | March 20, 2023

Budget proposal tops $47 million for New Kent County Public Schools’ operations in FY23-24

By Andre Jones | March 6, 2023 11:10 pm

The growth of New Kent County is having a major impact on the future of New Kent County Public Schools. That impact comes with a price tag of more than $47 million being proposed for FY2023-24.

New Kent Superintendent of Schools Brian Nichols presented his budget proposal during Monday night’s regular school board meeting.

With Director of Finance Haynie Morgheim spearheading the dialogue, New Kent’s school system is expecting to reach 3,500 for the upcoming new year.

“In year’s past, we have been conservative with our numbers,” Morgheim commented. “But with the growth of the county, it just seems reasonable that we can reach out more in our estimates for next year.”

That extension is a budget of $47,375,167. Morgheim expects an additional $2,554,447 in state revenue due to the enrollment projection increase. However, she is recommending school leaders to ask the county’s board of supervisors for $2 million more in funding to address additional expenditure needs. Of the proposed $47 million budget, about $44.2 million will be used to address the school’s general fund.

Among recommendations in the school’s upcoming budget includes a five-percent salary adjustment ($1,461,855, with $834,948 being contributed from the state), an increase to healthcare coverage ($513,805), additional amendments to the tune of $393,734, and making market rate adjustments of school nutrition services. A recommended starting salary for first-year teachers would increase by four percent to $49,660 for those with a Bachelor of Arts, and $53,136 for applicants with a Master of Arts.

Approximately $1,443,918 has been penciled for new positions or reassigned job titles by the proposed budget. Among recommendations include three elementary school behavior specialists, two exceptional education teachers, two exceptional education paraprofessionals, three elementary school teachers, two high school teachers, two bus drivers (funded through attrition), and a new assistant principal at the high school.

“These positions are being asked for as they are needs because of our growth,” commented Nichols. “We have had several meetings with each of our school administrators, advisory boards, parents, and stakeholders and they have lasted all day.

“We have listened to them and this is what has led to the budget that we present to you tonight,” the superintendent concluded.

School board members and staff are expected to pay close attention as County Administrator Rodney Hathaway is expected to present his budget at the Mar. 13 regular board meeting. The school board and county’s board of supervisors have a planned budget work schedule tentatively set for Mar. 17.

In another item, the school calendar has been adjusted due to not utilizing snow days in the current fiscal year.

Friday, May 26, is now a holiday for students and staff, extending the Memorial Day break to four days. Also, the last day for students has been moved up to Tuesday, June 13.