Free Lance-Star reporter Amy Umble covers Stafford County schools and other education issues
More details on Stafford schools’ budget cuts
Here is Wednesday’s story about last night’s budget work session.
I thought I’d give a few more details about the budget option board members are now considering. There are still a lot of unknowns out there. For example, the option mentions cutting 47 positions but there has been no word on what those positions would be. Board members have requested that those not include teachers. But teachers make up about two-thirds of Stafford County Public Schools’ staff, so it would be hard to make such a cut without including teachers.
Last night, board members learned that a little bit more than 300 employees leave Stafford County Public Schools each year. But without knowing which positions could be on the chopping block, it’s not clear if the 47 positions could come simply from attrition.
The cuts in the option under consideration include all of the “moving forward” items originally proposed by Superintendent Randy Bridges. These include hiring more teachers, a 2.5 percent pay raise for employees, and hiring another ESL coordinator.
Other cuts include: reducing conferences by 50 percent, reducing consultants, suspending tuition assistance, reducing food purchases, giving staff a furlough day, removing summer school, reducing furniture replacements and charging students $100 per year to participate in extra curricular activities.
A little bit more about the “pay to play” option: School Board members are looking at three scenarios for this. The first is charging $100 per student for Virginia High School League sports and activities only. This could save the county $150,000.
Another option is charging $100 per year for all middle and high school students in any activities. This could save about $1.5 million.
The third option is charging $100 per year for all high school students in any activities. This could save $909,300.
These options didn’t include waiving fees for students receiving free and reduced lunches. And there was no option which included charging for elementary school activities. School Board members asked Bridges to come back with details on both of those scenarios.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on these proposed cuts and the school budget in general. Feel free to get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org or 540/735-1973.