School board members unanimously approved a $72.5 million budget for fiscal year 2020 at their meeting on Feb. 26, which is about $1.7 million more than the current year’s fiscal plan. The budget will now be reviewed by the supervisors.
Superintendent Doug Straley estimated a $63.6 million operating budget, $2.5 million cafeteria budget, five-year $3.8 million capital improvements plan budget and $2.5 million for debt service.
Among the superintendent’s top priorities are to increase teachers salaries by three percent, plus provide an additional step scale increase that will average 4.3 percent, amounting to about $1.6 million.
The state’s budget recommends a five percent increase for some teaching positions, but not all. If the state’s anticipated $658,000 funding comes through, the county’s share of the compensation increase would be lowered to $1 million.
New positions proposed in the budget include two crisis counselors that were recommended by the Safe Schools Task Force Committee. Straley said those positions would be based at the middle and high schools and would work with Region 10 to handle students’ mental health concerns.
Region 10 provides mental health, intellectual disability and substance use services where they are needed in the Thomas Jefferson Planning District, which includes Louisa County.
In addition, Straley is requesting three instructional assistants to start a second reading academy at one of the elementary schools. A pilot program was started at Trevilians Elementary School last year and has proven to be successful. The success of the program, which caters to kindergarten, first and second grade students, is measured by how many students are reading on grade level.
School officials have not determined which elementary school will host the second reading academy program in the coming year.
Included in the budget is funding for four special education instructional assistants at the middle school, which have already been added in the current school year.
(Article by Deana Meredith)
This is a partial article. Read the full story in The Central Virginian’s March 14, 2019 issue.