New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | October 4, 2023

New Kent School Board adopts $46 million budget for FY2023-24 cycle

By Andre Jones | May 2, 2023 12:25 pm

New Kent’s School Board unanimously adopted a $46,075,167 budget for FY2023-24 as part of Monday evening’s regular board meeting.

Of the proposed amount, approximately $42,914,660 will be designated for the general funds. The school nutrition fund will account for $1,734,336, the school grant fund is pegged at $1,159,478, and the school textbook fund rings in at $266,693.

The budget process for adoption for New Kent County Public Schools continues to be a puzzle, as the rapid growth of the county has shifted to more needs of the school system. Originally, the school had requested $47,375,167 in their budget. And while most of it was met, the school asked for an additional $2 million to offset costs of the growth. While the school system didn’t receive the total amount, they did receive an additional $600,000, something District 1 board member and chairman Wayne Meade was thankful for.

“When it comes down to it, it’s always about money and what we can do with it,” he said. “I am thankful to work on a board that has a great partnership with our county leaders.

“With not imposing a tax increase this year, I am grateful for what we received,” Meade added. “But as one person, 67 cents per $100 of assessed value is not going to get us what we need. I am willing to pay more in taxes if it gets us the best emergency workers, the best police force, and the best teachers and educators in this county.”

Because of the recommended budget, the school system had to make $1.3 million in cuts. Among the casualties included positions in exceptional education ($192,771), support positions at the elementary level ($312,294), support positions at the secondary level ($287,096), additional elementary school teachers ($203,207), two additional secondary teachers at $67,736 apiece, and a part-time occupational therapist ($41,960).

Among items that remained include a five-percent salary adjustment, an increase to healthcare coverage, and the hiring of a Navy Corp Cadet Instructor.

The school’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) comes in at $2,053,285. Among major purchases include the replacement of five school buses ($685,285), roof replacement at the high school ($450,000), and district wide lighting at George Watkins Elementary School ($425,000).