Superintendent send her $67.6 million plan to School Board for consideration
PRINCE GEORGE – Explaining the student average daily membership has continued to decline in the past five years, Prince George School Superintendent Renee Williams presented her proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2019-2020 during a special meeting in the School Board conference room on Monday.
The total budget was set at $67.6 million and under the FY 2020 would include an increase in revenue and expenditures with a proposed overall budget of $71.2 million. That’s a $3.6 million difference.
“State revenues are based on the average of the governor’s, House and Senate’s versions of the second year of the 2018-2020 biennial budget and uses the ADM of 6,126.8 as projected in the governor’s budget.” Williams explained.
While the ADM has gone down, other challenges have shot up with the number of economically disadvantaged students receiving free or reduced lunch skyrocketing to 44.8 percent of the overall student population with 2,011 receiving free lunch and 824 reduced lunch.
The number of special education students also has increased to 856, compared to 746 in FY14.
Since English is a second language for more and more students, Williams also proposed a new English-language learners (ELL) teacher.
Her proposal includes a 3-percent salary increase for all employees, as well as a 5-percent projected health insurance increase. Though the governor’s budget includes a 5-percent increase for teachers, Williams noted that is only for Standards of Quality positions and requires local jurisdictions to cover a part of that cost. Therefore, her budget suggests an overall employee increase of 3 percent.
The hike in the budget also includes proposing 18 new positions with two partial transfers from grants that require a local match.
The salary hike would run $1,520,354 and health care adjustment $262,896. The total salary and benefit changes include a proposed cost of just over $3 million. Non-personnel changes would run $344,585.
She told those in attendance that this was her budget, not the School Board’s final recommendation as elected officials would go through the numbers and make their own tweaks. The School Board’s adopted budget may differ from the document Williams presented.
A public hearing on the budget is set for Feb. 25.By Adrienne Wallace, Hopewell Herald & Prince George Post
Adrienne Wallace is editor of the Hopewell Herald & Prince George Post, a sister publication of The Progress-Index.