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Pay hikes complicate Halifax County school cash needs
SoVaNow.com / February 11, 2013The Halifax County School Board will gather tonight to continue work on a new school budget amid concerns that state funding may fall short of local needs.
K-12 funding statewide is expected to rise with the revised biennial budget that begins July 1, with much of the money going for a proposed 2 percent pay hike for school personnel.
Each of the three budget versions floating around Richmond — from the governor, the House and Senate — call for a 2 percent teacher salary increase. House and Senate budgets also include similar raises for non-instructional support personnel.
The increases are being hailed by education proponents: “The bleeding is over,” said Rob Jones, a lobbyist for the Virginia Education Association, of the budget proposals. “For the first time since the recession we are seeing very modest gains for elementary and secondary education.”
However, for localities the school pay raises come up with a catch — local divisions would be required to put up matching amounts as calculated under the local composite index, which measures localities’ ability to pay for education.
The requirement is driving up the need for additional funding from county taxpayers.
Even with the final outcome of the state budget very much up in the air — negotiations on a compromise package between the House and Senate are underway — the local division needs a $3 million boost in funding from the county Board of Supervisors, school officials say.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Merle Herndon last month submitted a school budget proposal to county supervisors seeking $16,300,000 in local funding, up from the current level of $13,150,000.
In her request Herndon pointed to a pressing need for new buses, as well as for the teacher salary increases. Teachers have not received pay hike for the past five years.
The budget discussions lead the agenda for tonight’s meeting in the second floor meeting room of the Mary Bethune Complex. The 2013-2014 budget goes into effect July 1, 2013.
In other business tonight, Operations and Maintenance Director Larry Roller is expected to present a summary of proposed school maintenance projects. Also, Priscilla Price will review the activities of the Early Learning Centers at Cluster Springs and South Boston/Halifax.
Herndon will recognize trustees for their work in observance of School Board Member Appreciation Month, and Board Chairman Kim Farson will recognize School Board Clerk Robin Mahan for her work during School Board Clerk Appreciation Week.
CommentsBefore the request for more funding is even considered, how about a detailed accounting of all monies spent on food and cafeteria supplies, in particular food that is thrown away prior to consumption or expiration date?
I have to admit I'm surprised the request for more money came so quickly on the heels of the Hatcher lunch throwaway debacle. Thought this school administration was all about SAVING money, e.g. cutting the LORP out from under the new retirees to save money.
At least we don't have those heinous school district taxes like they have in the Northeast, though I'm sure before it's over someone will decide those are a good idea and try to implement them here.
- By powerhouse on 02 / 11 / 13
CommentsLORP will not cost them more money, they will loose the lawsuit or have to settle and that is why they need more money. Herdon does not deserve over $100,000K pay, when teachers are making in the 40's. They can make do with the buses they have, we as private citizens have to. And yes I have school age children that ride the buses. We need to do away with seperate routes for HS and elementary. But no one listens to me.
- By allpolitical2 on 02 / 12 / 13
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