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King George County School Board passes budget

The King George School Board passed its $36.5 million operating budget for 2013–14 Monday night that was $500,000 less than the original proposed by Superintendent Robert Benson. Those savings came primarily from cutting the textbook budget.

The district will adopt and purchase new science textbooks and delay purchasing English textbooks until the 2014–15 school year.

Benson said he wants to wait to adopt a new English textbook until the results from the 2013 SOLs are available.

The next textbook to be adopted is a foreign language text in 2015–16.

The district also will pilot e–books for the 11th grade Commonwealth Governor’s School students in 2013–14.

Science textbooks will cost just under $250,000 for grades kindergarten through 12, down from the initial $310,000 estimate. Cutting out new English textbooks shaves $460,000 from the budget.

Added to the budget are cafeteria monitors for the elementary schools. Monitors were cut from the last budget cycle. Teachers, however, complained to the board over the last year about losing their lunch period. Adding monitors for all three elementary schools will cost the district about $26,000 for salaries per year. The budget also includes a 2 percent raise for all school employees that totals $514,850. At a meeting with the school board earlier in February, the King George Board of Supervisors expressed concern about a request for $2 million in local funds. That request has been lowered with the textbook cost cut.

The Board of Supervisors has to approve increases in county tax dollars going to the schools.

The county now will consider the proposed budget.

Lindley Estes: 540/735-1976