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Tuck Enterprises building on US 360 destroyed by fire

An early morning fire Thursday that totally destroyed the former Tuck Enterprise building on US 360 resulted in an estimated $500,000 loss.

Closing the gap

Using abandoned TV ‘white space,’ high-tech partners provide free educational broadband to 100 area homes – with many more to come

Choice of new Halifax County school chief set for tonight

Trustees meet at HCMS to name Herndon’s successor

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Comets baseball advances in region tourney

Josh Barker delivered the game-winning walk off RBI single in the bottom of the 11th inning Friday night, and the Halifax County High School varsity baseball team advanced to Wednesday’s…

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Despite cutback from supes, Herndon ‘optimistic’ on division-wide pay hikes

SoVaNow.com / March 07, 2013
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Merle Herndon said yesterday she is “still optimistic” the school division can offer a 2 percent salary increase to its employees, despite a decision by county supervisors to provide much less local money than the School Board had sought.

School officials want an additional $976,826 to fund the pay increase for personnel and to cover other expenses, including an effective loss of $461,612 in state education operating funds. The rest of the money would be used for expenses such as new bus lease/purchases and computer software upgrades. The School Board also sought $65,000 to allow Halifax County students to participate in the regional Governor’s School in Keysville.

On Monday, Halifax County supervisors recommended boosting the local share of education funding by $360,000 for the next fiscal year, bringing the total local contribution to $13,266,029. If finalized, the amount would raise the local contribution to roughly the same level before supervisors took out a portion last year to pay for the school efficiency and curriculum studies.

The School Board has developed a 2013-14 budget of $56,909,056, which includes $33,668,473 in state funds. The new budget year starts July 1, 2013.

Out of that state share, $416,612 is set aside to provide 2 percent pay raises to teachers and other instructional personnel. The School Board is required to come up with a matching local contribution of roughly $95,000.

Herndon has urged the School Board to extend the 2 percent raise to other school employees — support personnel such as bus drivers, maintenance and custodial workers, counselors and secretaries — who are not included in the state-funded teacher pay increase. Another $308,961 would be needed to give all employees a raise, school officials have said.

In the wake of the supervisors’ decision to shave the School Board’s request by more than $600,000, “we will talk about all of that on Monday morning,” said Herdon.

The school budget committee is slated to meet at 9 a.m. Monday to come up with recommendations to present to the full School Board at the Monday night meeting.

Roger Long, who serves on the budget committee with Dick Stoneman, Herndon and HCPS finance director Jay Camp, said he is concerned that county supervisors have not accounted for an increase this year in Halifax County’s composite index. The local composite index is used to determine required local and state contributions to school operations. Due to a rise in the index, Halifax saw state funding for schools drop by $461,121.

Long said he sees no way to balance the school budget without making significant cuts to programs or positions.

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They should be happy for what they got, cut central office. You guys are just trying to save money to pay the LORP lawsuit when you loose. Deal with it Long


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