Bath School Board Is Waiting On A Budget, So It Can Finish Its Own Budget
Warm Springs, VA – The Bath County School Board is waiting on a budget, so it can finish its own budget. At a budget work session on Wednesday night with the Bath Board of Supervisors, School Superintendent Sue Hirsh explained that there are some unknowns in School Board’s approved budget, because the State of Virginia has not yet finalized its own budget.
Included in the schools’ 2012-2013 budget, is a full time principal for Millboro Elementary School, a 3% raise plus step for all employees, adjustment for increased petroleum prices, window shades at the high school and cameras for school buses. The window shades and bus cameras were added since they didn’t meet the cost requirement in order to be included on the capital improvement plan. The school budget also takes into account the Governor’s budget for state revenues and the possible loss of funding for Forest Reserve Funds.
The Bath County Schools budget is more than $10.2 million dollars, which is an 11.88% increase.
Everyone is waiting to see what changes are passed by the State Legislature that will affect the Virginia Retirement System. The proposal is to shift the cost of five percent VRS contributions to employees. School Boards can choose to phase in the five percent contribution over five years, but would be required to provide raises to offset the employee contributions.
Another unknown is the cost of health insurance. The county is still in negotiations on that. Superintendent Hirsh said the budget was created conservatively, with a 15% increase in insurance factored in, but it may not be that much. She said the school budget will need to be amended once the figures are known on insurance and on VRS. She also added that Forest Reserve Funds have been reinstated by the Senate, but it’s too early to include them in the budget.
Bath Supervisor Claire Collins said that the majority of the increase of new local money in the school budget is due to requirements from the state. Supervisor Collins asked the School Board if they only had a set amount of money and could still do something positive for teachers and students, what would it be? School Board Chair Amy Gwin said she felt the Millboro principal position needed to stay in the budget, along with the raises for staff. She added that if raises need to be cut down, she felt staff should get at least a step increase or a step and a smaller percentage raise.
Bath Board of Supervisors Chair Cliff Gilchrest said he appreciated the open dialogue between the two boards, saying that they are all in this together.