Wednesday, February 26, 2014
The Greene County School Board approved next year's budget. It is about $2.5 million bigger than this year's.
The board unanimously approved a $34.4 million budget for fiscal year 2015. The increase from 2014 accounts for a five percent raise for staff and state-required increases to the Virginia Retirement System (VRS).
An increase in state funding is partially helping offset those costs.
"We're fortunate this budget season to have a better outlook as far as state revenue goes and we are hopeful that our local funding will be able to support not only the VRS increases but also the raise to the employees," said Sharon Mack, the school board chairman.
The state mandates did challenge the board.
"It's a significant amount of money," said Mack of the VRS increases. "It is a lot of money for such a small division and it's being felt all over the state. It's making things difficult and funds are going towards that could be used elsewhere.
"We're just fortunate that our funding from the state is able to cover a lot of the increases that we're mandated to cover."
Increased enrollment, a decreased local composite index, and other factors allowed for the extra state funding.
Since the last meeting took place around the big snow two weeks ago, the board also allowed an extra public comment session, but no one commented.
The school board will present the budget to the Greene Board of Supervisors on Wednesday morning, where the school board will continue their discussion with supervisors.
"We did have a very positive discussion with them at our initial workshop that we had," said Mack. "We're hopeful that it will continue to be a very positive budget process between the two boards."