The Warren County Public Schools proposed budget for next year includes pay raises for teachers.
Superintendent Christopher Ballenger presented his proposed fiscal 2022 budget of $64,110,418 to the School Board at its meeting on Wednesday. The amount includes $28,753,959 in county funding, a state allocation of $32,038,859 and $2,658,522 from federal sources.
The proposal reflects a 5.4% increase from the division’s current budget of $60,810,877.
The proposed budget includes a 2%-pay increase for teachers and an adjustment to the salary scale.
As Ballenger explained in his presentation, the school division would receive approximately $1.33 million in additional state funding per Gov. Ralph Northam’s proposed budget. The division’s budget calls for an additional $1,797,236 from the county or an increase of 6.7% over the current fiscal period.
Board Chairman Arnold M. Williams Jr., Vice Chairwoman Catherine R. Bower and members James S. Wells, Kristen J. Pence and Ralph A. Rinaldi attended the meeting and voted on the motion to adopt the proposed budget.
“I don’t feel there’s any fluff in it,” Williams said of the budget as presented before the vote. “It’s got all the numbers and they’re all needs.”
Williams added that the division’s teacher retention rate has improved since they adjusted the pay scale last year.
Ballenger’s proposal also includes funding to create and fill the following positions: teachers in English, history, criminal justice and gifted and talented; a special-education assistant, and a sign-language interpreter.
Also at the meeting, the board voted 5-0 to approve a one-time bonus of up to $1,000 for full-time employees and up to $500 for part-time employees. Employees can expect to receive bonuses on March 26. However, employees hired in October will receive 75% of the approved amount; 67% for those hired in November; 50% for employees hired in December; and employees hired from Jan. 1 through March 3 will receive 25% of the approved bonus amount. New employees who start after March 3, or current employees who separate from the division before March 3, do not qualify for the bonus.