Bath School Board Budget For 2011-12 Calls For Almost Nine Percent Increase
Warm Springs, VA – On Tuesday night, the Bath Board of Supervisors got another piece to try to fit into the county budget puzzle. The Bath School Board presented it’s budget to the board and that budget has an increase of 8.86% and a request of almost $801,000 more than the current budget.
The budget contains salary increases for staff. The increase is 3% across the board except for custodians, who have a salary scale adjustment. That adjustment would amount to a 32% raise for custodians with the least experience.
The budget also contains a full time Principal for Millboro Elementary. Currently one principal serves both Valley and Millboro Elementary Schools. The budget also contains an increase for health insurance costs and a special education aide that is necessary to meet requirements.
The budget includes two new cars for the school system and a revised amount for fuel costs, which is based on a more accurate price of gas and diesel. School Superintendent Sue Hirsh also reported that there are some issues with humidity in the high school auditorium. Money is included in the budget to address deteriorating stage curtains and ripples in the carpet caused by humidity.
During the Tuesday night work session, Supervisor Jon Trees said he needed to ask an unpopular question – what it costs to operate Millboro Elementary School. Trees said he knew it was a lot of work to figure that out, but he wants to know what the cost savings would be if the schoolwere closed.
Trees said student enrollment is declining and Millboro Elementary needs to be looked at, unpopular as that is. School Board member Dreama Burns said her plea is to consider every way possible to keep the students where they are. She said the community needs to be involved before decisions are made about the school.
Supervisor Carol Hardbarger said it will be devastating to Millboro to talk about closing the school without involving the community. Superintendent Hirsh said Millboro Elementary is something that should be looked at, but it’s not something they want to look at. She said the school board has not considered the issue of declining enrollment at Millboro for this year.
She added that figures show declining population over the next four to five years and they need to begin talking about the issue. Hirsh said someone in the community may have an idea on the issue that none of them had ever thought of.
Supervisor Richard Byrd said he will not have the Millboro School issue considered by the Board of Supervisors this year, but he doesn’t know what may happen in the future with a new board.