On Tuesday of this week, I presented the School Board with a balanced, needs-based budget that provides the personnel and resources that will move our school division forward on our journey to maximize the potential of every learner. The initiatives outlined in this proposed budget align with our strategic plan and are aimed at maintaining our position as a leader in the Commonwealth.
The full presentation is available here. However, I wanted to provide you with a summary of the different aspects of the proposal.
Goal 1: Prepared for Life through Deeper Learning
- 1 Teacher at Goochland High School to start a computer science program (.5 FTE) and to provide additional instruction to students in geometry and algebra I (.5 FTE)
- Stipends for 4 additional teachers to work as curriculum innovators in the summer to develop project based lessons for teachers to utilize as a resource in planning engaging and authentic learning experiences for students
- 1 Instructional Technology Resource Coach for the secondary complex
- 1 Instructional Technology Resource Coach for Byrd Elementary School
- 1 Technology Support Technician
- Re-structure of preschool program to offer more opportunities for students in need
- Increase in school-based allocations for materials and supplies to schools
- Funding for the athletic program at Goochland Middle School
- Funding for increased tuition at Governor’s Schools
- Funding for continuation of Strategic Innovation Grants
- Continuation of Veterinary Technician program for the second year
- iPad leases
Goal 2: Improved School Climate – Attract and retain quality teachers and staff
The proposed budget includes the funding needed for a total compensation package for our employees that is competitive in our region. This will help us to retain the incredibly talented professionals we currently have, and to attract exceptional candidates when vacancies occur. A proposed revision to the teacher salary scale is recommended for next year that allows our salaries to exceed the current median for our market at steps 0-20. This is a transparent salary scale that has a structure that includes definitive increments in pay from step 0-24. This structure will allow teachers to be able to easily identify what their salary will be in future years with a year of successful performance. The proposed salary scale is found on slides 47 and 48. Teachers at steps 25 and above will receive a 1.75% increase to their current salary.
In addition to a revision to the teacher salary scale that is competitive in our labor market, this proposal includes a 1.75% across the board raise for all non-teaching staff. Additionally, there is no proposed increase in out of pocket health insurance costs to employees who choose our high deductible plan or our $500 deductible plan (slide 51). As a result, the benefits of the proposed salary increases are not negatively offset by an increase in health insurance premiums.
One further employee benefit that is outlined in the proposed budget is a reduction in the cost of tuition charged for students of our employees that live outside of our county. This proposal includes a reduction from $1,250 currently charged to $800 next year, a savings of $450 per year for our employees. This decrease to our employees is offset by a proposed increase to families of non-resident students who are not employed by Goochland County by $500 per year.
In all, the total cost to the school division for the proposed salary scale revision for teachers, raises for non-teaching staff, health insurance increases, and mandated increases for the Virginia Retirement System is proposed to be $827,718 for next year.
Goal 3 – Safe Schools with Effective Management
- Stipend for a webmaster at each school to increase accessibility to all viewers
- Closed captioning of archived School Board meeting video in order to comply with Federal regulations
- Contracted services to support our special education program
- Online safety training resources for employees
- Support for division food service program
- Process for washing exterior of school buses
- Preparation for 1:1 implementation at high school with higher summer 2017 technical staffing costs
- Increase software costs for personnel evaluation and other software subscriptions
In addition to the personnel resources and programs identified for us to accomplish our strategic objectives as outlined above, this proposed budget includes opportunities for us to re-purpose and reallocate current resources by abandoning specific practices and processes, thus allowing us to use the funds previously allocated to these practices to fund our strategic needs. Some of these are outlined on slide 65. Other reductions include:
- Restructuring summer school offerings
- Abandoning the practice of reimbursing $150 for students who pass dual enrollment classes with the exception of students taking English (we will continue to pay full tuition to all students who demonstrate a financial need).
- Consolidating 3 current bus routes with minimal ridership without negatively impacting space on routes and travel time
- Reducing legal budget
- Savings from utilizing a different process for background checks
- Utility savings
- Eliminating specific contracts
In all, the proposed budget for next year includes additional expenditures in the amount of $1,045,712. Overall, 70% of next year’s budgeted expenditures will be focused on our instructional program with another 8% in Technology, the majority of which are instructional costs (1:1 devices, classroom software, technology resource coaches – slide 76). These additional expenditures are offset by new revenue from state, Federal, and local sources with a proposed increase in funding from the Goochland County Board of Supervisors in the amount of $670,000 for a total of $21,830,000. This equates to an increase in local support of 3.2%.
Through our budget process, there were programmatic and personnel needs that have been identified, but are currently unfunded in this proposal. These needs were given very careful consideration. If additional revenue is available in the future, the following needs have risen to the next level of funding priority for future consideration (slide 87):
- Additional half-time teacher for HS math
- School testing/ACA/Dual enrollment coordinator for GHS/GMS
- Secondary gifted resource teacher
- Administrative Intern stipends
- Funding for fine arts program (uniforms & instruments) at GHS
- Funding for flexible furniture options division-wide
- Compensation increase for all staff not on teacher salary scale from 1.75% to 2%
In summary, this proposed spending plan for next year provides the resources to support our journey toward continued excellence as we ensure that we are providing ALL of our students with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities that are so crucial for students to become successful members of a modern global community.
Several public meetings will be taking place in the coming weeks as the School Board and the Board of Supervisors make final budget decisions for next year.
- January 31 – Budget Workshop – Goochland Administration Building, Room 250 – 7 p.m.
- February 7- Public Hearing on School Board Budget – Goochland High School Auditorium – 6:30 p.m.
- February 14 – School Board Budget Approval – Goochland Administration Building, Room 250 – 6:30 p.m.
- February 21 – Presentation of School Board Budget to Board of Supervisors – Goochland Administration Building, Room 250 – 3:00 p.m.
- March 21 – District 2 & 3 Town Hall Meeting – Central High School – 2748 Dogtown Road – 7 p.m.
- March 23 – District 4 & 5 Town Hall Meeting – Hermitage Country Club – 7 p.m.
- March 30 – District 1 Town Hall – New Fire Station on Hadensville Fife Road – 7 p.m.
- April 4 – Board of Supervisors Public Hearing – Goochland Administration Building, Room 250 – 7 p.m.
- April 18 – Board of Supervisors Adoption of County Budget – Goochland Administration Building, Room 250, 3 p.m.
I hope that you are able to attend. Thank you for everything that you do to make a positive difference in the lives of our students!