Tue09022014

Last updateWed, 19 Nov 2014 8pm

   2014 39.95 HSD w VIDor PH-Banner2-500-x-125

School Board mulling use of surplus funds

King George school division’s Superintendent Rob Benson advised the School Board at last week’s meeting on May 7 on various needs for the division for which they might spend some anticipated surplus funds prior to June 30.  

Benson was reluctant to provide an estimate of the unbudgeted funds, saying he wanted to first confer with Robyn Shugart, county finance director, prior to naming a figure.  The figure has previously been estimated at about $300,000 due in part to more state revenue from higher enrollments during the current school year.
His spending list included possible purchases for a dishwasher at Potomac Elementary and a replacement dishwasher at the middle school. Cafeteria dishwashers have previously been priced by the division at about $42,000 each.

Other items listed for possible purchase included spectator seating at the middle school for track and the ball fields, concrete walkway replacement at old King George Elementary School for the pre-school, and additional storage cabinets for the newly renovated wings at Potomac, along with driveway surfacing at that school.

His list also included desks and cafeteria table replacement at various schools, along with carpet replacement in various areas at the School Board office.

He also listed replacement of two maintenance vehicles, previously estimated at $55,000, and access control systems for King George Elementary and Sealston. The security equipment has previously been estimated at about $125,000.

Benson also said the costs of two studies should also be included, for which requests for proposals are being written.

Those would help the School Board make decisions regarding some facilities they may want to renovate, including whether to add on to the current middle school or renovate and add on to the former middle school.       

The purpose of either addition would be to create space in one of the two buildings to be able to shift the 6th grades from the county’s three elementary schools.

The other study would determine and compare costs for a new track complex at the high school or whether to refurbish the track at the middle school, along with adding restrooms, concessions and improved bleacher seating.  

School Board members said they needed cost estimates for all items and an estimate of the amount of unspent funds before they could make decisions.

2014-15 BUDGETING
Benson is also mulling decisions to finalize categorical figures for the 2014-15 budget, whose fiscal year begins on July 1.

He told the School Board it needed to cut $634,703 as the difference between its proposed budget and its actual budget allocation for next year.

The School Board had requested an operating budget of $37,890,464. The county approved a School Board budget of $37,255,761, which provides a 5-percent increase over the current year’s approved budget.

The county is providing its employees 1-percent average raises under the pay-for-performance policy, beginning at mid-year, on Jan. 1, 2015.

The county has requested that the School Board likewise grant 1-percent raises at mid-year, estimated to cost $106,000. Benson noted the county’s plan for raises, but said he thought the division could provide 1-percent increases for the full year.

To do that, he proposed reducing funding for textbooks by $87,715, reducing paper expenditures by $15,000, reducing Special Education contracted services by $14,802 and by eliminating the proposed 2-percent salary step increases for employees at a savings of $517,186.

But School Board members asked to see the cost for full-year 2-percent raises for all employees, prior to finalizing the budget categories.

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