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Posted March 21, 2013 | comments Leave a comment

School board approves budget

Budget to be considered by Board of Supervisors

By Kim Walter

FRONT ROYAL - The Warren County School Board approved its fiscal year 2013-2014 budget Thursday evening and it will now move forward to the Board of Supervisors.

The $50,153,943 budget is based on the state budget approved by the General Assembly, but not yet signed by the governor, said Rob Ballentine, director of finance for the school system.

The budget includes a number of initiatives suggested by school administration and board members, including a 2 percent salary increase for all full-time school employees.

Four teaching positions, two bus driver positions and a part-time PC technician will be added if the division receives the requested amount. The teaching positions are some that were cut several years ago when funding was decreased.

The county appropriation would also increase by $664, 888, or 3.3 percent, according to the school board's proposal.

If approved by the supervisors, the budgetl also will cover an 11-month guidance position at Warren County High School, a $5,000 per year stipend for instructional specialists and deans of students, an increase in substitute pay by $10 per day, and increased non-labor expenditures to help compensate for the loss of federal revenue.

The board also approved the appropriation of a $554,211 surplus from the 2012-2013 budget. Part of the funds will be used to balance the 2013-2014 budget, and remaining funds will go toward current outstanding costs.

To cover increased fuel costs for the current school year, $75,000 of the surplus will go to the operating budget, and $200,000 will be put into the textbook fund.

Superintendent Pamela McInnis said the textbook fund is separate, and the $200,000 will not be lost at the end of this fiscal year in June. Instead, it will carry over.

The remaining $279,211 will be split and used for three separate purposes.

The current budget needs $135,000 to balance it. However, $110,711 will be split up and go to each of the county's eight schools as a one-time non-labor allotment.

Several years ago, the county had to cut each school's non-labor budget by about 20 percent. The surplus funds will be allocated proportionally to each school, so not every school will get the same amount. The amount should cover about 15 percent of the cut funding.

The remaining $33,500 of the surplus will help provide wireless access to all the elementary schools in the division.

"We feel this is something that needs to be done," Ballentine said. "It's important from an instruction standpoint."

McInnis and Ballentine will represent the school system at the spervisors' budget work session on Tuesday.

"We don't necessarily anticipate that the number you're looking at now will be the final, approved number," McInnis said. "It all depends on the county situation, and what they can give to us."

The next Warren County School Board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. April 11.

Contact staff writer Kim Walter at 540-465-5137 ext. 191, or kwalter@nvdaily.com

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