Bath Supervisors Approve School Budget
Warm Springs, VA – Bath County Schools have a budget in place for 2010-2011. The Bath Board of Supervisors approved the $8.7 million dollar school budget and they agreed with the specifics on the budget, but there was discussion on how to distribute the money.
Supervisor Carol Hardbarger wanted to give the money to the schools as a lump sum, instead of appropriating it by category, such as instruction, transportation and operation and maintenance. She said that over the past 6 months the school board had responded positively to budget suggestions from the supervisors. She also said a new era of education in Bath County was beginning, with the appointment of Sue Hirsch as the new superintendent of schools.
Supervisor Richard Byrd explained why categorical funding has been done in the past. He said when money had been given in a lump sum, there was trouble keeping school maintenance up. The supervisors assured the school board that they will work with them on category transfers if there’s an emergency and more money is needed in a particular category. Supervisor Hardbarger voted no on the budget, saying she does support the budget but doesn’t support the category funding.
The school board had also asked for a contingency fund to be created. The fund would allow the school system to keep unspent money at the end of the year for large purchases such as school buses. Although several of the supervisors were in favor of the request, the board denied it, saying they may think about it for next year.
Supervisor Richard Byrd praised the school board, employees and staff saying they did a remarkable job with the budget. Schools revenues are down more than $100,000 from the state and more than $400,000 from federal sources. The first school budget submitted to the board of supervisors was revised at the supervisor’s request, to save some jobs and to avoid pay cuts.
Bath County will receive an unexpected payment of over 1 million dollars in December. The state of Virginia adjusted a calculation that as a result increases the taxes paid to Bath from Dominion Power. That money will be placed in a reserve fund.