Rockingham County School Board Reviews Budget Requests

Posted: January 31, 2013

HARRISONBURG — Budget requests made by staff in Rockingham County Schools for 2013-14 came in $6.2 million above the division’s current $119.2 million budget.

 

Though many of the requests likely won’t show up in a final budget — which will be voted on in the spring — Cheryl Mast, the division’s director of finance, said looking at the requests from principals and administrators is a good way to gauge needs.

 

“You could realize that you’re not going to have the funding [for all the requests] and not even look, or you can give people the option to look, so you can see what the needs are,” Mast said. “[The requests] can point out some areas that maybe even internally there is something we can try to do to help those areas.”

 

Information about the requests was presented by Mast to the Rockingham County School Board on Monday.

 

Among the requests was $2.5 million to fund new positions.

 

The list of budget wants and needs also proposes more than $1.6 million be used to give employees a 2 percent raise, $286,000 for bus and car replacements and about $742,000 for instruction, which would be used for summer school, band equipment, online learning and technology.

 

For 2013-14, the division will see an 8 percent increase in the employer share of employee health insurance costs, which is projected to cost $990,000, according to Mast.

 

In addition to the main budget, the division has separate budgets for textbooks, cafeteria funds and capital projects.

 

No capital projects are planned for 2013-14 and the school’s cafeteria budget remained nearly flat.

 

Because the division has delayed purchasing new textbooks for several years, the system would need more than $4.7 million to get schools back on a normal textbook adoption schedule, Mast said.

 

Reviewing the requests is the fifth step in the budget process. At its next four meetings, the Rockingham County School Board will receive more information, including about possible state revenue as the General Assembly continues to work through the governor’s spending proposal, and the superintendent’s recommended budget.

 

A final vote on the budget should come in March or April. Once the division adopts a budget, it must then be OK’d by the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors, which is responsible for approving the spending plan’s local funding component.

 

Contact Emily Sharrer at 574-6286 or esharrer@dnronline.com



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