Highland County School Board Discusses Options For VRS Payments For School Employees

Monterey, Va – The Highland County School Board will need some additional information on the changes to the Virginia Retirement System payment plan. At its meeting Monday evening, the Board tabled a vote on which option to use, pending the final approval of the state budget and receipt of additional details on the VRS payment options. Supervisor Dr. William Crawford describes the matter to the Board.

“There’s a rate of 16% overall that’s going to have to be paid; we can get that one of two ways,” he says. “The school system can eat it all this first go around, or we can let the staff members pay 5.11 percent and reimburse them for that 5.1. Lots of systems are saying to the employee you’re going to pay your increase in contribution to VRS for that 5%, but we’re going to give you a 5% raise to counteract that.”

Dr. Crawford and School Board Clerk Karen Devore continue with further explanations on this complicated plan devised by the legislature.

“The school system can pay it all, they can give it all to the employee, or they can do a combination of the two; so those are the three things that can happen,” says Dr. Crawford. “My understanding is that we must let them begin to pay 1% of it a year going forward.”

“And then we have five years that we can phase it in,” says Devore. “If you do one this year, then you have to do two next year, and then three, four and five so that by the end of the 5th year the employee is paying 5% of the VRS rate and the school would be paying the rest.”

In other business, Mary Stephenson presented the Special Education Grant Annual Plan. She says with the $66,000.00 plus grant, they will be able to spend the money on a full time special education teacher and an assistant and employee benefits for the teacher, professional development services and classroom supplies.

Ms. Stephenson goes on to describe the preschool plan. She says funding will be spent on part of the preschool teaching assistant salary, stipends and meal allowance for those who conduct preschool screening activities, professional development and preschool supplies.

The School Board voted to approve the plan. The Board also tabled a vote on the school system Capital Improvement Plan, thereby delaying that vote until the June Board meeting.

The Board also approved the schedule for the end of the year.
The last day of classes will be Monday June 4 and graduation has been set for Saturday, June 9 at 10 am.

Stay tuned to Allegheny Mountain Radio next week for more news from the Highland County School Board Meeting.

The next meeting of the Highland County School Board will be Monday, June 11 at 7 pm in the high school library. The annual closeout meeting was scheduled for Thursday, June 28 at 2 pm.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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