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Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County schools. You can email him at

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Superintendent’s letter regarding budget proposal

Below is the letter Superintendent Shelley Redinger distributed to parents regarding her budget proposal for the 2012-13 school year.

Her proposal includes several items, including a 2.5 percent pay raise for staff, that are not covered if the division gets level funding from the county for fiscal 2013. For more details, see today’s Free Lance-Star story. I’m also working on a story for tomorrow with additional information.

You can also review the budget proposal presented to the School Board Monday night.

Dear Parents:

I am pleased to present to you the Superintendent’s Budget Proposal for the fiscal year 2013. It can be download at  This proposal recognizes the financial limitations facing the School Division, the significant increases in VRS contributions and projected health insurance premiums, and identifies both spending reductions as well as streamlining of resources to support our budget priorities.

It is important to note that our prudent use of the one-time Education Jobs Funding for non-reoccurring expenses and the utilization of a three-year budget model positioned us well for fiscal year 2013. 

Based on feedback received from members of the Board and members of the Superintendent’s Budget Review Committee, the top priorities considered were providing a salary adjustment for employees and the lowering of class sizes. The salary increase allows us to attract and retain highly-qualified teachers and staff, which directly benefits our students. Lowering class sizes leads to improved instructional time and effectiveness for our students.

Taking into account these considerations, the recommended budget for fiscal year 2013 for all funds totals $274,445,989. This total represents an increase of $15,396,588, or 5.9%, relative to the adopted budget for fiscal year 2012.  It is important to note that the budget includes a $6.6 million revenue gap, of which 90% is attributable to providing the 2.5% COLA for all eligible employees, restoring 20 teaching positions, absorbing the employee’s projected increase in health insurance premium and restoring 17 cafeteria monitors at the elementary level. As a result, satisfying these budget priorities requires additional revenue from both the County and the State.

The financial support the Board of Supervisors provides to the School Division, the support of the School Board, teachers, staff, parents, and the community as a whole, is essential to the success of our students. I am confident that as we work together our school division will continue to meet and exceed state standards of learning, attract and retain highly-qualified teachers, and above all, meet the diverse learning needs of each student.

I look forward to our partnership as we strive for excellence and provide students with an exceptional education experience.


Shelley Redinger, Ph.D.                                

Division Superintendent