Shenandoah County Public Schools is expected to increase its proposed operating budget to $70,256,789.

Superintendent Mark Johnston recently recommended to school board members that when they adopt the budget, they go to the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors and ask for an additional $767,002 in funding for a total request of $30,081,906 as the local county contribution to school funding.

The division had initially asked the county for $29,314,904.

The increase is because the division has been hit with a higher than expected health care renewal increase and a smaller then expected increase in educational funding from the state.

Johnston said the quote on health care coverage came in with a 20.4 percent increase. The school division in its initial $69.7 million proposed operating budget budget had a place holder of a 10 percent increase in its health care figure.

In the past the division has offered four different medical plans to choose from but because of the dramatic health insurance increase they raised the number of plans that will be offered to six.

“We hope this helps give more payment options and that they will be able to better control the impact of the increase on families,” Johnston said about division employees.

The division last year did not incur any increase in health care costs and experienced a 2.4 percent increase the year before.

The other hit occurred when the division learned the state contribution's will not be as large of an increase as they were hoping to receive.

The state will contribute $37,023,773 to the school budget. While an increase of $1,026,335 from last year, it is a decline of $191,000 from the expected $37,214,773 the division was estimating they would receive.

Contact Melissa Topey at