King and Queen schools propose 3.1 percent raise for teachers

aluck@tidewaterreview.com

Teacher raises and expanded high school course offerings are on the agenda for next year in King and Queen County Public Schools.

Division Superintendent Carol Carter and the School Board have proposed a 3.1 percent increase for all teachers in the division, as well as more course options for high school students.

The School Board approved Carter’s proposed budget of $11,189,607 at its Feb. 20 meeting.

The division is projected to receive $884,162 in federal funding, $5,874,269 in state funding and $4,431,176 in local funding, according to Emma Hundley, the school division’s director of budget and finance .

The division gave teachers an approximate 2.8 percent raise this year and plan a 3.1 percent raise next year, which would bring them in line with the governor’s proposed 5 percent raise for teachers over two years.

The 3.1 proposed salary increase would cost $87,794, according to the proposed budget document.

The division also wants to switch to the state’s local choice insurance program for health insurance, which is expected to cost 13.5 percent more.

Carter said she requested $95,000 from the Board of Supervisors for the increase and move to local choice. “Local choice will help our employees with lower deductibles and co-pays,” she said.

Curriculum

The division plans to expand advanced placement government and French I at a cost of $5,476.88 at the high school. With $23,092 for a part-time advanced placement government teacher.

The division also hopes to increase student enrollment at the Rappahannock Community College Welding and Industrial Manufacturing program at a cost of $3,508, and pick up three additional slots at the Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School at a cost of $13,443, according to the document.

Carter said the division is considering adding an internship class at the high school and is working with local businesses to determine the cost and availability of the program.

Staff

The division is also proposing additional special education staff to meet the needs of children with disabilities in the division.

The budget calls for one para-educator and one behavior coach at King and Queen Elementary for $33,580, two paraprofessional and one additional car driver at Lawson-Marriott Elementary for $59,600, and $80,000 for more speech and physical therapy services, according to the document.

Also requested are an assistant principal for about $86,222.40, including benefits, and an athletic director/attendance coordinator for $81,774.24 including benefits, according to Carter.

To meet the growing demand for technology, the division also wants to create a technology coordinator position for $86,652.96 including benefits.

Finally, the division hopes to add a new bus driver at the high school for $21,557.16 with benefits, for a total of six bus drivers at the school.

Projects

The division also requested $358,000 from the county’s school set aside fund to complete some capital projects.

Each year the division returns money to the county that was allocated but not used; the county then sets it aside for school capital projects, according to Carter.

“We do get a new bus every year with our budget requests,” Carter said.

The division is requesting a total of $120,000 — $40,000 for each school to upgrade bathrooms; $93,000 for one new school bus; and $20,000 to replace seven existing heating and air conditioning units at Lawson-Marriott Elementary.

A new division-wide phone system is also in the works, although the cost is still to be determined; Carter said it will be more than $100,000.

Carter said the division also plans to apply for a state security grant of $125,000 to make improvements. The division received a grant last year and upgraded security, including a new two-door system at King and Queen Elementary.

County administrator Thomas Swartzwelder said the board has not discussed the school’s proposed budget or county recommended budget in depth, but will during the rest of budget season.

The county will hold a public hearing at the board’s April 8 meeting and will likely take action on the budget at the board’s April 22 meeting. The board meets at the King and Queen County Courts and Administration Building, General District Courtroom, 242 Allens Circle.

Luck can be reached at 757-291-2038, aluck@tidewaterreview.com or @ashleyrluck on Twitter

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