Hannover schools ‘optimistic’ about budget plan for pay rises despite no state budget deal

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ASHLAND, Va. (WRIC) – The Hanover County School Board has passed a $217 million budget plan giving all employees a 5% pay raise, additional pay raises for long-time employees and the funding new positions to improve student mental and behavioral health.

On Tuesday, the board unanimously approved the school division’s operating budget for fiscal year 2023, its nutrition fund and a five-year, $175 million capital improvement plan.

The budget is expected to go into effect on July 1, but it cannot be finalized until an agreement on the state budget is reached. Without a state-level agreement, the county will not know its schools’ revenues for next year and will not be allowed to move forward with its proposals.

“At this time, there is no change to the approved school board budget as the General Assembly is not adopting a budget at this time,” Statements of presentation of the budget of the schools of Hannover.

Ahead of Tuesday’s vote, Hanover County School Superintendent Michael Gill said that while changes may need to be made after the General Assembly passes a two-part state budget years, a delay in passing the school district’s budget would prevent it from offering contracts to employees.

Gill added that Hanover schools are confident the district will “only make money” after the state budget is approved. School divisions will receive revenue estimates from the Virginia Department of Education ten days after the state budget is passed, Hanover Schools predicts.

“Please note that while the ongoing work of the General Assembly may have an impact on the final content of the budget, we remain optimistic that this budget, which we believe delivers on our promise of preparing all students for succeed and be ready for life while caring for those who care about our students, will come to fruition,” the district written in a budget update.

The school district will review the revenue estimates before proposing technical changes to the fiscal year 2023 budget, which must be presented to the Hanover County School Board and Board of Supervisors for review and approval.

Asked by the board Tuesday about when the school district’s “tipping point” would be if the state budget was not approved, Hanover Schools Assistant Superintendent for Business and Operations Christina Berta , said at the end of the fiscal year on June 30. .

School districts across the Commonwealth face the same waiting game as lawmakers continue to negotiate the state budget. A potential government shutdown could come if the state legislature does not approve a plan by the end of the state’s current fiscal year, June 30.

Here are some proposals in the budget plan adopted for the schools of Hanover:

School Operating Fund: $217,259,835

  • A 5% wage increase for all school employees effective July 1.
  • Additional salary increases for employees based on their years of work for Hannover schools. County employees for five to nine years will receive an additional 1%, 1.25% for 10 to 14 years, 1.5% for 15 to 19 years, 1.75% for 20 to 24 years, and an additional 2% for employees 25 years or older. years of service.
  • The creation of internal pay scales for certain jobs in the school division”further improve starting salaries, pay equity and regional competitiveness.”
  • Money set aside to have four replacements assigned to each high school, three to each middle school and at least one to each elementary school.
  • Funding to allow the district to waive tuition for employees living outside the county who want their children to attend a school in Hannover – which currently costs $1,500
  • Funding for five additional school counsellors, two applied behavior analysis teacher consultants, one school psychologist, one workplace learning coordinator, one guidance counsellor, advanced study coordinators , two additional ESL teachers and a primary primary teacher for special education.

Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan

  • More than $175 million in funding over five years — $51.4 million in fiscal year 2023 — to build a new John M. Gandy Elementary School in the first year.
  • Design and construction funding to replace Battlefield Park Elementary is included in year three.
  • Funding for the design and construction to replace Washington-Henry Elementary School and the design and renovation of Beaverdam Elementary School in year five.
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