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Spotsy School Board seeks $3.2 million more

The Spotsylvania School Board will notify the Board of Supervisors Tuesday morning that it will be asking for $3.2 million more in funding for next year than was recommended by County Administrator Doug Barnes.

The timing is critical because the supervisors are scheduled to decide what real-estate tax rate they are going to advertise at their meeting on Tuesday. Once the rate is advertised, the supervisors cannot raise it.

Each 1-cent increase in the tax rate would generate $1.2 million in revenue, schools Chief Financial Officer LaShahn Gaines told the School Board at a recent work session. That would mean the supervisors would need to increase the tax rate nearly 3 cents to fully fund the School Board’s request.

The School Board is scheduled to present its fiscal 2014 budget proposal to the supervisors March 19.

The School Board began its budget deliberations facing an $8.2 million shortfall in funding, but that was reduced by $5 million as of Monday’s budget work session. A key drop came from a streamlining proposal by Superintendent Scott Baker that cut the deficit by $1.1 million.

The board’s chief reason for seeking additional funding from the supervisors is to give employees a 2 percent cost-of-living raise. The state has offered one-time funding for that effort, but the county would need $1.6 million to afford it for all employees.

The board also wants to hire 14 more teachers.

The entire board consented to asking for the additional funding at Monday’s work session. But board members Bill Blaine and Ray Lora did not want to include the state funding for the pay raise as a factor.

Pamela Gould: 540/735-1972

pgould@freelancestar.com

 

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