The School Board held a budget worksession during its meeting on April 4, 2017. During the worksession, Assistant Director of Finance Kristen Anderson and Schools Superintendent David Sovine provided additional details regarding the Superintendent’s Proposed Budget based on the budget advertised for a public hearing by the Frederick County Board of Supervisors and the budget approved by the General Assembly.
Mrs. Anderson stated total revenue in the School Operating Fund will increase by $6,668,495 due to increased federal and state revenue ($3,815,560), additional local funds ($2,235,457) and a transfer from the Debt Service Fund ($617,478). She noted that the baseline budget included in the Superintendent’s Proposed Budget has been adjusted from $3,895,637 to $2,906,434. The adjustments include a health insurance reduction from a projected 10 percent increase to 7.8 percent (293,682), restricted program adjustments ($25,521), removing funding for two recurring buses ($200,000) and re-evaluating the existing budget for possible reductions based on trends ($470,000).
Mrs. Anderson then reviewed the items recommended for funding in the School Operating Fund. Those items include a step movement on existing salary scales which equates to a 2.5 percent division average ($2,906,037), a 2.5 percent increase for supplements/positions ($64,255), 15 new positions including 13 school-based positions and two department-based positions ($670,388), professional development ($20,000), an increase in occupational therapy services ($35,000), position upgrades to align with job duties ($49,581) and upgrading to 2.5 GB Internet services ($16,800). The new positions include three instructional coaches, two behavioral specialists, three teachers, a data specialist, a facility technician II, and five baseline positions which have existing funding, but need full-time equivalent approval (two UVA partnership aides, one special education aide and two interpreters).
Mrs. Anderson noted the items cut from the School Operating Fund include targeted salary enhancements ($689,397), five teaching positions to address growth ($350,000), three buses ($300,000) and funds to address preventive maintenance needs ($500,000).
Mrs. Anderson also provided an overview of the Capital Projects Fund which will total $3,088,287. She noted the items recommended for funding include 10 school buses and three vehicles ($1,217,500), student and staff devices, Chromebooks, projectors and expanded Wide Area Network-WAN ($595,091), roof replacements at Redbud Run Elementary and NREP ($741,940), a cooling tower replacement at Bass-Hoover Elementary School ($61,000), general maintenance to include painting at various schools and repairing the James Wood High School tennis courts ($192,256), playground replacements at Armel Elementary School and NREP ($140,500), replacing the PA systems at Sherando High School and James Wood Middle School ($100,000) and safety/security upgrades at middle schools ($40,000).
Mrs. Anderson noted the items cut from the Capital Projects Fund include three buses ($300,000), two four-wheel drive vehicles/service trucks ($60,000) and playground equipment for Orchard View Elementary School ($150,000).