Schools ask for $1 million plus local hike

Published 10:45 am Wednesday, March 14, 2018

By Elizabeth Pattman

Staff writer

The Isle of Wight County School Board unanimously approved its fiscal 2019 operational budget, which includes a request for an additional $1.09 million from the county. 

The local contribution request is up 4.3 percent from last year, from $25.1 million to $26.2 million. 

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The overall budget, including state and federal contributions, is $62.7 million. 

The budget will move on to the Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors for consideration. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

The budget includes a 5.7 percent increase in funding from the state, at $1.6 million, and a 1.4 percent decrease in federal funding, or $53,373.

Priority expenditures in the superintendent’s proposed budget included teacher raises, the addition of four new teachers, instructional aide raises, instructional materials, field trip funding, nurse raises, bus driver raises and debt service, according to the superintendent’s budget presentation in early February.

Instructional salaries will see a 5.9 percent increase, equivalent to $1.2 million, while instructional aide salaries will see a 19.5 percent increase, equivalent to $320,923. Schools spokesperson Lynn Briggs said the school division recently evaluated base compensation for employees in comparison to other localities and found discrepancies. As a result, Isle of Wight has been increasing salaries for both teachers and instructional aides over time, she said, and they will be adding four additional instructional aides.

Instructional materials are expected to see a 43.8 percent increase, equivalent to $235,223. Briggs said roughly $222,000 of that is for CTE instructional materials.

The line item for student field trips showed a 1881.1 percent increase, growing from $5,300 to $105,000 for 2019. Briggs said the school district is trying to cover more of the cost of student field trips, so money was moved between accounts to cover the cost of 2018 field trips and additional funding is required for 2019 trips.

School nurse salaries will see a 12.6 percent increase, equivalent to $44,571. This reflects a proposed 5 percent salary increase for each school nurse, as included in the superintendent’s budget presentation in February.

Pupil transportation will see an 11.7 percent increase. Briggs explained that the additional $426,789 in transportation costs resulted from increases in bus driver salaries, increasing fuel costs and $200,000 for a new bus lease.

An additional $14,407 will be allocated for debt services, which is a 3.4 percent increase over last year’s budget.

The food purchases budget will also more than double to allow for refreshments to be served at school expos and events. After the overall 258.3 percent increase, each individual school will receive less than $1,000 for food for that purpose, according to Briggs. {/mprestriction}