Spotsylvania School Board adopts budget

Lloyd Doyle
April 19, 2018

District administrators outlined their next steps, but some wonder if four months is enough time.

Graff said he recognized the challenge that schools face with the budget cuts and took note of what the district's budget does provide, such as fully funded English language services and literacy support.

Board member Sara Wilson-Rogers expressed concern about some of the more long-term goals in the plan and suggested tabling the vote until a special meeting to be held in one week.

The St. Joseph School District has officially laid off nine teachers as a result of its ongoing budget-cut process, which included reducing staffing by 150 positions.

Sarasota County plans to follow in the footsteps of larger Florida districts that have used this model for years.

Numerous community signs held during board meetings called for Modena to no longer be part of the district. But it is a system Messina thinks more school districts will consider following the passage of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Act. The resolution does not allow the district to make additional cuts to schools or lower its reserve funds beyond current levels, which means the cuts have to come out of the district's central office. He is working with Scott Lempe, the Sarasota school district's chief operations officer who oversees a variety of issues, including security, to determine the best way to build a school police agency from the ground up.

They were notified last week they would not be offered positions next school year due to the financial condition of the school district.

By taking this approach to financing the capital project, the district's financial advisor has estimated that it is likely that the taxpayer share will end up being less than the average $55 per $100,000 of market value.

Tomlinson added that the budget also includes an additional $20,000 that the district will use to purchase school supplies now provided by parents, reducing the length of school supply lists at every grade level.

Each speaker had a limited amount of time to make their points and list their priorities. The same study concluded that it would cost Henrico $29.2 million annually to surpass those three localities in hiring placement and salaries for all school system employees.

"We have an increase in state funding, because our enrollment projections are higher", she said.

"We are all one group", she said. "Just because you can end this debt in one year doesn't mean that you should".

"This budget was able to do a lot of things", School Board member Erin Grampp said.

The negotiated salary will be in the range of $245,000, plus a comprehensive benefits package, depending on proven experience, qualifications and meeting board criteria, according to the listing.

Other upcoming work will include construction of artificial-turf fields at South High School, North High School and Memorial Junior High School; restroom renovations; science classroom renovations; and mechanical, ventilation, electrical and masonry upgrades.

Those employees will patrol the district's 22 elementary schools, which have not had full-time school resource officers since the Great Recession.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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