Northumberland County’s school board met in a special session Monday afternoon to approve a proposed budget for the coming school year.
School Board member Dean Sumner was not at the meeting, but the four members who attended voted unanimously to ask that the schools be funded at $17,383,259 during the 2014-2015 fiscal period. The amount is an increase of $1,399,828 over last year but, due to increased funding primarily from the state, the school board will be asking for an increase from the county of $761,717.
The largest areas of increase come from pay increases for teachers, increased required payments to the Virginia Retirement System and increased costs of health insurance for the school system’s employees. Under the proposed budget, teacher salary costs would rise by $399,155. VRS payments would increase by $254,516 and health insurance would increase by $192,960.
The School Board’s budget is a request only. It is subject to change if the Board of Supervisors declines to increase or reduces the county’s contribution to the system.
In an additional matter, the Board split evenly on Board member Susan Saunders’ motion to approve a three day trip for middle school students to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Fox Island Study Center between April 1 and April 3. Chairman Dick Saxer and Member Gerald Howard voted against the motion due to concern with the children’s missing an additional three days of class work after all the time they’ve missed due to weather this year. Bety Christopher voted in favor of Saunders’ motion. With the even split, the motion failed.