March 17, 2015 / School Board approves $689.6 million budget; agrees to request an additional $20.3 million
In its Tuesday, March 17 meeting, the School Board adopted a $689.6 million operating budget for the 2015-16 school year. In addition, the Board also agreed to request an additional $20.3 million from City Council to augment that budget.
The additional funding would be used to address these priorities:
The $689.6 million operating budget is $13.7 million less than the current year budget. Consequently, it was balanced through a number of strategies, including:
In addition, the School Board also approved a $341.8 million capital improvement program (CIP) budget. This budget will address the renovation and building needs of the school division through the 2020-21 fiscal year.
Both School Board budget proposals have been provided to city management and City Council for consideration. The city manager will present a municipal operating budget proposal and a CIP proposal, including funding plans for schools, to City Council on March 24. City Council will adopt operating and CIP budgets by mid-May.
Follow the entire process on The Lowdown on Your School Dollars
March 3, 2015 / School Board adopts a resolution seeking an additional $20.3 million for the 2015-16 operating budget
In its Tuesday, March 3 meeting the School Board approved a resolution to be sent to the city manager which outlines its intentions to adopt a $689.6 million operating budget on March 17. However, in that resolution the School Board also included a request for additional funding in the amount of $20.3 million. The purpose of that additional funding will be: 1) to provide an additional salary increase of 3.66 percent (in addition to the 1.34 percent Virginia Retirement System offset); 2) to provide $4 million to reduce the School Board's reliance on one-time revenues to balance the operating budget; and 3) to provide $2 million for further equity adjustments to the unified pay scale. The adopted resolution also noted, "...the School Board supports an increase in the real estate tax increase or any other local tax if the City Council determines such a tax increase is necessary."
Inclement weather resulted in the cancellation of an earlier public hearing on the budget. By moving back the formal adoption of the budget to March 17, the School Board will be able to host a public hearing at that meeting. However, by adopting a resolution that outlines the expected funding request from the schools the School Board is able to assist the city manager in completing a municipal budget recommendation (which includes a funding plan for schools) that will be presented to City Council on March 24. In further action, the School Board adopted a resolution requesting $341.8 million be allocated to the capital budget, which funds the renovation, repair and rebuilding of schools. This budget has been reduced by nearly half of what it was seven years ago. The pace of renovation has slowed to one school every two years, which places VBCPS schools on a 150-year replacement cycle.