The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Caroline School Board approves 2015 budget
With almost no discussion Monday night, the Caroline County School Board unanimously approved the superintendent’s $40.3 million budget for fiscal 2015.
The School Board will ask the county to provide $14.6 million for the budget, a 10 percent—or $3.5 million—increase over what the school system asked for in this fiscal year’s budget.
The proposed budget includes salary step adjustments, including raises, for teachers and 12 percent raises for support staff. Administrators would receive 4 percent increases.
Another $648,000 would be used to fund 17 new positions. Of those, 14 positions are full-time and three are part-time. They include three additional secondary teachers; four elementary school teachers; one special education teacher; six instructional aides; and three part-time coaches.
During previous budget work sessions, the School Board emphasized that the salary scales needed to be adjusted to be more competitive with surrounding jurisdictions and to retain staff.
The remainder of the budget not paid for with local money would be funded by the state and federal governments. The school system should receive a net increase of $720,000 from the state next year, but about $48,000 less from the federal government, according to the school division.
Last night, Schools Superintendent Greg Killough presented the results of a parent survey that he said support the school system’s request for more funding.
Five groups of 500 parents were surveyed about various topics, including school funding.
One of the questions asked, “Would you support increased funding for fixing salaries scales which would help us retain employees and make us more competitive with surrounding counties?”
Of the 782 respondents, 84 percent said yes and 16 percent said no.
Another question asked, “Do you agree that additional funds are needed to buy much needed materials, supplies, technology, and equipment to provide a quality education for our students?”
Of the 764 respondents, 93 percent said yes and 7 percent said no.
Another question asked, “Would additional instructional staff in Caroline County Public schools help to improve student performance?”
Of the 749 respondents, 88 percent said yes and 12 percent said no.
Other questions asked whether the division should have school uniforms and if students who aren’t reading at their grade level should be promoted to the next grade.
Killough will present the School Board’s budget proposal to the Board of Supervisors tonight. That meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the Community Services Center, 17202 Richmond Turnpike, in Milford.
Robyn Sidersky: 540/374-5413
Total operating budget: $40.3 million
Request to county: $14.6 million
Increase requested over fiscal 2014 budget: $3.5 million
$1.5 million requested to adjust salary scales for teachers, including increases and 12 percent raises for support staff
$648,000 will be used to fund 17 new positions. 14 of those positions are full time and three are part-time:
three secondary teachers
four elementary school teachers
one special education teacher
six instructional aides
three part-time coaches