School budget may include pay raises

Posted: February 5, 2013

The Winchester Star

BERRYVILLE — Staff in Clarke County Public Schools could see a pay increase if the proposed fiscal year 2014 budget gets approved.

The $21,458,606 school operating budget was introduced at a School Board meeting at the high school Monday night. Last year’s adopted school operating budget was $20,542,386.

The budget proposes a 3 percent pay increase for all staff at a cost of about $438,000. The governor proposes to partially offset the cost for Standards of Quality teachers and instructional personnel, including guidance counselors, librarians, instructional aides, principals and assistant principals, by providing about $86,000.

School Board member Barbara Lee advocated for a 4 percent pay increase.

“I’m sorry,” Lee said. “I’m still stuck on teacher compensation.”

Janet Creager Alger proposed keeping “hard and fast” to the 3 percent raise due to budget constrictions.

The budget also proposes the addition of eight full-time equivalent positions at a cost of $377,919. Among these are a science and a health science teacher at the high school, a divisionwide math specialist and a divisionwide Response to Intervention teacher to help students who are struggling.

The budget also projects a 12 percent health insurance increase at a cost of $163,000.

“A lot of numbers being handed to us we have no control over,” said board member Chip Schutte.

In the capital projects fund, $728,163 is requested for fiscal year 2014. This includes $75,000 for the repair of heating and ventilation systems in the division; $123,000 for two new school buses; $10,400 for band instruments; $10,400 for athletic equipment; $21,200 to replace student and teacher desks and chairs, filing cabinets and lunchroom tables; $86,000 for wiring at D.G. Cooley Elementary; and $154,000 to be used primarily for new classroom computers, servers, wiring and equipment to support computer networks.

The School Board Finance Committee will meet with the Board of Supervisors on Wednesday to discuss the budget, which will be adopted by April.

Present at the meeting were School Board members Barbara Lee, Janet Creager Alger and Chip Schutte. Elizabeth Leffel and Jim Brinkmeier were absent.

— Contact Rebecca Layne at rlayne@winchesterstar.com