West Point Public Schools will not receive as much state funding as projected for its 2019-2020 budget.
At a joint Town Council and School Board meeting March 5, division Superintendent Laura Abel revealed the schools will receive almost $30,000 less than expected from the state.
“We have a new revised, decreased number based upon the General Assembly’s recently approved budget,” Abel said. “The other number was based on the governor’s optimistic December budget.”
The division was originally projected to receive $5,646,333, a $284,735 increase in state revenue from last year, and is now expected to receive $5,616,504, a $254,909 increase from last year’s budget, according to the proposed budget.
The division had planned to ask for a $32,565 increase in local revenue, for a total of $4,304,665. With a $317,300 total increase from last year’s budget and less state funding, the division would increase its local revenue request to $62,391.
Abel said she has presented the School Board with a few options to consider a $305,300 budget increase instead and bring the local revenue request back down to a less than $40,000 increase, at $38,425.
“The board has not formally approved the recommended revisions or the budget,” Abel said. “This number is closer to our original projection.”
The revised recommendations would bring the total local revenue request to $4,310,525, according to Abel.
Abel said she feels comfortable delaying the implementation of an online learning system for the division that would cost $12,000 and increasing the division’s projected average daily membership of students for next year from 780 to 782 to close the gap between $317,300 and $305,300.
Items in Abel’s proposed budget include:
» A 3 percent salary raises for teachers, which would cost an estimated $147,300;
» increased funding for the drama program for a total of $8,000; the drama department has never had a budget line item and has relied on mostly ticket sales, fundraisers and some supplements over the years according to Abel.
» increased funding for chorus and band programs for a total of $2,000 split between the two;
» increased funding for the athletic programs for a total of $6,000;
» increased funding for out-of-district career and technical education enrollment for a total of $15,000;
» increased funding for on-campus career and technical program materials for a total of $5,000;
» hiring a part-time alternative suspension facilitator for in-school suspension for $12,000;
» an online management learning system for teachers and students to use for $12,000 (recommended revision to remove this funding item has not yet been officially approved by the board);
» starting non-licensed staff -- such as clerical, food service and custodial -- at $12 verses $10 for $30,000;
» absorbing the projected 10 percent increase in employer health insurance costs for an additional $25,000;
» adding a part-time social worker for $35,000 and special education teacher assistant for $20,000.
Federal revenue is expected to stay flat at $330,672, and other revenue (grants, incentive programs) is projected to stay level at $463,675.
The projected total of Abel’s recommended budget comes to $10,745,345. If the recommended revisions are approved, the new total would come to $10,733,345, according to Abel.
The amounts are preliminary, as the School Board, Town Council and town manager will consider making changes to projected funding.
School Board and Town Council members did not have any in-depth discussion about budget items or projected amounts. They did discuss the issue of teacher salary raises across the state and how the division has kept up with the raises over the years.
Mayor Jim Hudson was not at Tuesday’s meeting.
Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. March 26 at Town Hall, 329 Sixth St., where town manager John Edwards said he will present his recommended budget.
Luck can be reached at 757-291-2038, firstname.lastname@example.org or @ashleyrluck on Twitter