Those of us who subscribe to School board news via email got a good news email Wednesday night:
At the March 11 School Board work session on the proposed 2009-10 budget, Superintendent Steve Walts presented proposed revisions to the budget based on adjusted state revenue and the federal stimulus funds. The School Division will be receiving almost $25 million in additional revenues, with most coming from the stimulus and about $134,000 coming from the state.
Dr. Walts’ proposed expenditure adjustments include:
– Restoration of certain positions to avoid employee layoffs;
– A 2.9 percent COLA for all employees;
– Restoration of all regular education class sizes to current levels;
– Restoration of middle school athletics to the current program, but still with the participation fee; and
– Restoration of funding for IB/AP/ICT/ACE/PSAT test payments for all students.
Other recommended adjustments to balance the budget include a reduction from 5-percent to a 3-percent match for those participating in the matching 403 (b) deferred compensation program, and postponing the implementation of the middle school intramural sports program.
“We are feeling pretty good, in fact, quite a bit better than when we first proposed the budget,” said Dr. Walts, Superintendent. “We believe that this proposal will allow us to restore positions, avoiding employee layoffs.”
This is indeed very good news. Prince William County School Systen was about $57 million short for next year. Of course all school money is dependent on the final budget for Prince William County so that $57 million was very much of an estimate. The county schools will receive more than was originally announced. They were expecting about $19.1 million in additional funds from the stimulus money. As it turns out, the schools will receive about $6 million more than expected. $134,000 comes from the state. The rest is federal.
So is this additional money to also be considered a ‘drop in the bucket?’ Teachers get a 2.9% raise, class size is restored to current levels and restoration of certain positions sure sounds like a mighty good size drop to me.
I hope every last person with a kid in Prince William County Schools at least silently thanks Congressman Connolly for his part in procuring this money. I have a sneaking suspicion Supervisor Principi might have a hand in it also. Until I hear otherwise, I am going to say thank you to both gentlemen for making it happen. Corey Stewart needs to write another thank you note and follow it up with…silence?