January 17, 2014
The City School Board is preparing to put together their budget.
School board member Juandiego Wade says they are gathering information for the budget now.
"I call this our information gathering stage because we've already had several public meetings at Clark and at Venable, the work session today, over the next several weeks we are going to have it at other schools and our regular meeting we are going to have input on the budget."
The school board wants to maintain a competitive salary and benefit package for teachers. Salary increases have been limited in terms of net pay over the last five years.
"We want to make that a proposal to consider for the budget. For the last several years its been really difficult, we haven’t been able to give the raises like we would have liked to have had."
This year, they are trying to maintain the competitive edge to the city schools pay.
"So we are going to try to see if we can make it part of this year’s budget. We are still in the really early stages of the budget development, but that's something that we would want to put on the table as early as possible."
They are going to try to increase salaries of 2.75 percent and that will cost just over a million dollars.
They are also looking at class sizes.
"You know, when you have a small school district, like Charlottesville and we already have small class sizes, you know one or two students can make a difference in whether or not you add a teacher or not."
And while a new funding formula in Richmond looked like it would mean more money for the city schools, it did not really turn out that way.
"They are going to take it away because we are going to have to pay more in the retirement system, so it’s almost about equal."