RPS Board Budget Summary

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FY 2018-2019 budget season is upon us! On January 16th, School Board received the Superintendent estimate of needs. The budget public hearing is scheduled for February 5th and then School Board will go back to revise with approval slated for February 20th before they send it to the Mayor's Office on February 23rd. The estimate of needs is a 3.2% ($9.4M) increase from the current budget. SB wants to use $3.5M from their fund balance and then ask the City of Richmond for an additional $5.9M. I am going to run through the highlights of the budget PowerPoint below but for those of you who enjoy municipal government documents, the budget presentation slide deck can be found here and video from the meeting can be watched here


RPS BUDGET SCHEDULE

  • February 5th: School Board Work Session and Public Hearing
  • February 20th: School Board Work Session and Budget Approval
  • February 23rd: School Budget Forwarded to the City Mayor/Administration
  • March: Mayor's Budget Presentation 
  • April-May: School Budget Discussion with City Council
  • May: City Budget Public Hearing
  • May: Final Budget Adoption & Appropriation
  • June 4th: School Board Budget Adoption

SCHOOL BOARD PRIORITIES

There are several slides dedicated to the board's priorities but I will try to sum it up in a few bullet points below. Keep in mind these priorities mean they are things the board would like to do, not necessarily mean they will be funded. These are just the things our representatives would like to do if the money came available. 

  • Employee (teachers, admin, etc) Focused: competitive salaries, improved professional development plans, "promote staff commitment and sense of urgency to improve student success," equitable workloads, incentive veteran teachers, increase salaries for teachers/bus drivers/other support staff
  • Resource Focused: manage grants, realign resources, best use of libraries/librarians, eliminate hub transportation, increase custodian/maintenance staffing, textbook purchases, Dean of School Culture at schools w/ high discipline incidents, 1:1 tech for all middle/high schoolers
  • Student Needs Focused: additional language support, social workers at each school, psychologists at each school, 2 counselors at schools w/ high number of discipline incidents, Parent Liaison at each school 
  • Program Availability Focused: expand preschool, expand alternative education, increase participation in ARGS/CodeRVA/Groundwork RVA, additional funding for athletics/arts, pilot 2 elementary schools as G&T, year round schools, 
  • Facilities Focused: Continue pursuing implementation of funded facilities plan including continued review of consolidation and redistricting
  • Misc. Focused: Equity Audit, Internal Auditor, Additional CIP funding for M&R

PROPOSED BUDGET INCLUSIONS

  1. Salaries & Benefits- +$4.5M
    1. 2% salary increase for all employees (+$3.8M)
    2. 4% Healthcare increase (+$1.2M)
    3. VRS rate decrease (-0.5M)
  2. Staffing- +$0.5M
    1. 4 ESL Teachers (+$0.3M)- SOQ requirement
    2. 9 ESP Support Staff (+0.5M)
    3. 10 Gifted teachers (+$0.8M)- SOQ requirement
    4. 18 non-instructional FTE Reduction (-$1.1M)
  3. School-Based Instructional Materials +$1.0M
    1. Additional $50/student allocation (+$1.0M)- technology, furniture, instruments, athletic equipment, security cameras, classroom locks, etc
  4. Existing Services & Commitments Budget Alignment +$3.4M
    1. Substitute teachers (+$1.5M)
    2. Athletic trainers (+$0.3M)
    3. Special education- Nursing (+$0.4M)
    4. Transfers (+$0.8M)
    5. Workers' Comp (+$0.4M)