Spotsy School News

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

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Superintendent begins “streamlining” process

Spotsylvania Superintendent Scott Baker hopes to cut $500,000 for Fiscal 2014 to achieve the $1.5 million in streamlining the division that began last year.

He began laying out his goals during Friday’s School Board budget work session. He said he would provide details at the board’s next work session on Feb. 28.

The first $1 million in cuts went into effect for this school year and were begun by former Superintendent Shelley K. Redinger. They focused on the instruction and technology departments. Some positions were eliminated and others had duties changed.

The $500,000 in cuts for fiscal 2014 would decrease the $8.2 million revenue shortfall the school division faces in the budget Baker presented to the board on Monday. That would bring it to roughly $7.2 million.

Baker said he plans to achieve those cuts in two ways. He plans to continue realigning the instruction and technology departments in terms of administrative support.  He also plans to streamline other administrative support to prevent further reductions from the classroom.

He did not provide any details on exactly what those steps would mean or how the savings would be found.

Board Chairwoman Amanda Blalock noted that Baker’s effort would complete the two-year streamlining process of the division.

Also at Friday’s budget work session, board member Jim Meyer broached the subject of turning down the state’s recommended 2 percent salary hike for employees because it would be for one year and wouldn’t cover all employees.

The proposed 2 percent salary hike would cost the county $2 million of the $3.2 million needed to fund it.

Chief Financial Officer LaShahn Gaines said some school divisions have told her they plan to forego that funding.

Baker told the board his streamlining efforts would seek to make better use of staff talents by more efficiently using people, time and resources in order to keep the focus on classroom instruction.



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