Bath County Schools Get Bottom Line Funding For Next Fiscal Year Budget
Warm Springs, Va – Bath County Schools get bottom line funding for the next budget. At a budget work session on Thursday night, the Bath Board of Supervisors approved the new school budget that takes effect on July 1, and approved bottom line funding for it. Bottom line funding allows the schools to spend money as needed instead of adhering to individual budgets in categories such as instruction, administration and transportation.
School Superintendent Sue Hirsh spoke in favor of bottom line funding. She said she’d like to think the Board of Supervisors has trust in her and in the school board. Hirsh said funding by categories was hard due to unexpected changes. For example, in the transportation category the school board budgeted $2.15 a gallon for fuel and now that cost is as much as $3.50 a gallon.
Supervisor Carol Hardbarger spoke in favor of bottom line funding. She said there was no reason to not allow the elected body of the school board to do what citizens have elected them to do. Supervisor Jon Trees agreed saying the Board of Supervisors wasn’t elected to run the school system.
Supervisor Richard Byrd said he was in favor of bottom line funding for the school budget because of school board member Joyce Hevener. He said Hevener is one of the most honest persons ever expected to serve in a public capacity and he said they found the cream of the crop when they got her as a school board member. He said Hevener has asked him for several years to support bottom line funding and because of her and because of the respect he has for Superintendent Sue Hirsh he would support it.
Supervisor Stuart Hall spoke against bottom line funding, saying the categories should be kept in the budget. He said it wasn’t that the board of supervisors didn’t trust the school board; he said without budget categories, you tend to spend on what you want instead of what you need. He said with budget categories, the schools would just ask if a transfer between categories was needed. Hall said a budget transfer had never been turned down.
The board approved the school budget with bottom line funding on a vote of three to two, with Supervisors Hall and Percy Nowlin voting no. The approved school budget is about $386,000 less than what the schools requested.
In other business Thursday night, the board certified and ratified the local emergency declarations put in place due to the flooding on April 12 and April 16.
County Administrator Bonnie Johnson reported that there is the possibility of assistance for farmers through the farm service agency. She said the Governor didn’t declare a statewide emergency so no money from the state or federal government will be available.