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School budget may get extra state money

By Joe Beck -- jbeck@nvdaily.com

FRONT ROYAL -- The Warren County Public Schools may be getting a small boost under the state budget approved recently by the General Assembly, the School Board learned Thursday.

Director of Finance Rob Ballentine told board members that the school system may receive an extra $363,000 that is not included in the budget passed by the Board of Supervisors recently.

The school budget for fiscal year 2013 is based on projections about the state budget which had yet to pass at the time the School Board and Board of Supervisors voted on adoption.

Ballentine said the extra revenue depends on decisions taken by Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and the General Assembly between now and the middle of May. McDonnell may choose to veto, amend or approve the budget as it stands now. If he vetoes or amends it, further action must be taken on the budget by the General Assembly.

Ballentine said he spoke only in general terms with Superintendent Pamela McInnis about how to spend the additional $363,000, assuming it remains intact. He cited contributions to employee health insurance as one possibility.

"We're going to see increases in health insurance premiums, unfortunately," Ballentine said.

The Board of Supervisors and the School Board will also have to approve adding the $363,000 to the fiscal year 2013 budget, an action that could be taken as late as May 10,
Ballentine said.

In other action, the board approved advertising for bids for parking and traffic flow improvements at Leslie Fox Keyser Elementary School. The project carries a current estimated cost of $238,486, $11,500 less than its original budget. The money will come from funding leftover from construction of the new high schools.

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