WOODSTOCK – County supervisors approved two budget carryovers for Shenandoah County Public Schools on Thursday evening during their regular meeting.
Supervisors unanimously approved the first transfer, a special budget carryover from the 2017-2018 fund balance totaling $530,951.
The second transfer, totaling $712,637, which was left in the School Board’s operating budget, met opposition from District 3 Supervisor Rich Walker.
Those funds, according to a memo sent to the board by county schools Superintendent Mark Johnston, will help buy textbooks for the schools.
Walker told supervisors that the state increased school funding by less than 3 percent this year. When health insurance costs for the schools went up, school division officials went to the Board of Supervisors and requested the county’s funding go up about 8 percent from last year, Walker said.
“This $700,000 is basically, almost the amount that our budget is in the red,” Walker said. “Including it on there, we end up giving over 10 percent increase to the schools two years in a row.”
District 4 Supervisor Karl Roulston pointed out to Walker that the funds the school division is requesting are funds that were budgeted for, but never spent.
“I can’t sit here and say I’m going to oppose curriculum updates for our children here in Shenandoah County,” Roulston said. “It’s also a carryover of money they saved in previous years. I would rather not sweep it away and take it away from them.”
Walker argued that the county had a budget deficit in 2017-2018, and putting the unused funds back into the county could eliminate a current deficit.
Board Chairman Conrad Helsley told the board this was a one-time expense before calling for a vote. Supervisors approved the fund transfer with a vote of 5 to 1, with Walker casting the single “no” vote.