Thu08272015

Last updateWed, 27 Dec 2017 12am

Art Walk, Market Day mark Fourth

Art Walk, Market Day mark Fourth

The historic town of Montross celebrated the Fourth of July with wine, music, art and a courthouse s...

Montross to mark Fourth of July with Art Walk and Market Days

Montross to mark Fourth of July with Art Walk and Market Days

Montross is planning a celebratory Independence Day festival with music, an Art Walk and a busy Mark...

Montross man maintaining Purple Martin Retreat

Montross man maintaining Purple Martin Retreat

On Father’s Day, George Henry Oliff of Montross spent time with his family. He had dinner with...

Greater Montross revitalization group seeking input from area residents

The Greater Montross Partnership for Revitalization wants ideas for spiffing up and encouraging grea...

First Friday evening events return for 2015

First Friday evening events return for 2015

First Fridays and First Saturdays are back in Montross. The joyful weekend activities will continue ...

Dam breach threatens historic Chandler’s Millpond in Montross

Dam breach threatens historic Chandler’s Millpond in Montross

Picturesque Chandler’s Millpond, a 300-year-old lake on Route 3 west of Montross, has been clo...

 

eyecareofva201403 web

 

  Muhammad 900x120 Banner2015

Office-for-rent Jrnl Bldg 20130925

W’md school budget will cut 20 jobs

“It’s not too late to tell the supervisors that we are willing to have our taxes raised.”
The Westmoreland County School Board met this Monday and adopted the budget for next year. The new budget’s $16.3 million bottom line reflects a 12 percent revenue loss when compared to the division’s current operating budget.
The actual vote was 3 to 2, with Rosemary Mahan and Bryan Oliff delivering the dissenting votes. No School Board member willingly embraced the program and other cuts, but the need to adopt a balanced budget in a timely manner was openly acknowledged.
According to the discussion, it was late in the afternoon last Thursday when the state delivered its numbers to the county school division. Superintendent Elaine Fogliani and Finance Officer Linda Nettler immediately began cranking numbers in order to be ready for the budget hearing advertised for March 22.

The current year’s bottom line is $18.5 million. Next year’s contribution from Westmoreland County will be unchanged, but state and federal support will be substantially reduced.
Sales tax revenues are projected to be $64,629 lower than the value reflected in the current operating budget. State revenue will decrease as much as $811,087 and federal contributions will be lowered by more than $1.2 million. The division will lose more than $2.2 million in state and federal money.
The two elementary schools’ pre-kindergarten programs will be eliminated and the division will lose its paraprofessional instructional employees. As many as 20 division employees, including three assistant principals, will lose their jobs at the end of the current year.
Revenue shortfalls will be offset in part by larger employee contributions for retirement and health insurance. Paychecks may be smaller, but salaries will not be cut. Teacher stipends associated with after school activities will additionally be lost.
Elimination of the pre-kindergarten program clearly generated the greatest level of concern for the county school division’s future. Concern was expressed that children from some of the county’s poorest homes would enroll in kindergarten without requisite foundations and would be in danger of never catching up.
Fogliani delivered introductory comments that put those concerns in sharp relief. She explained that 60 percent of the students enrolled in county schools were previously believed to come from impoverished homes. That number will rise to 70 percent in the upcoming year, she advised.
“The United States is experiencing an economic decline unprecedented since the Great Depression,” Fogliani said. She then shared a set of statistics associated with what she characterized as “the children of poverty.”
That group of students, she related, are 2.5 times more likely to drop out of school, to perform poorly and to develop conduct disorders.
The role of education, she additionally noted, is to develop the skill sets needed for economic vitality. Excellent education is needed to reverse the current economic trends.
Fogliani explained that the 2011-2012 school division shortfall will be more problematic, with even less revenue provided by the state. She also made it known that the local contribution will remain at the current level, despite a reduction in the requisite level of support from the locality.
A local government’s minimum level of support to its school division is derived from a formula known as the composite index. Index values have changed to reflect county residents’ diminished earnings in the most recent 12-month reporting period.
School Board Chairman Daniel Wallace stated on Monday that level funding is the best the county government can do in a period when the local government is also faced with reduced revenues from state and federal sources.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Woody Hynson has already made it known that he will not support raising local taxes during a recession. School Board members discussed budgetary matters with their Board of Supervisors counterparts earlier this year.
School board member Rosemary Mahan lamented the loss of the division’s paraprofessionals. She described them important community members who are sensitive to individual student needs.
“I worry about losing the preschool program and the elementary school paraprofessionals,” she said. “It kills me to cut the paraprofessionals [who are longtime members of the community and know the students’ extended families].
“The children of poverty don’t know their letters, numbers or manners and the paraprofessionals take the time to add to what the teachers are able to do,” Mahan explained.
Pre-kindergarten teacher Katie Kowalczyk spoke during the public hearing, asserting that the pre-kindergarten program is “critical.” The cut, she said, will affect “the youngest kids in the community” and the impact of the action will follow those children all the way through their public school careers.
Kowalczyk then recalled a statement attributed to Ronald Reagan: “A country is only as successful as the education system 20 years before.”
Retired educators Edna Crabbe and Katie Jones were among the public hearing speakers who called for continued funding for the division’s preschool program.
“It provides a good, firm foundation. It gives them a good start. It’s easier to keep up than to catch up,” Crabbe explained.
“If pre-kindergarten is cut, those children will be starting up behind and it will be very difficult to catch up,” Jones said.
“Please see if you can find the funding to help those children.”
No one disagreed about the value of the county school division’s pre-kindergarten program. Fogliani and the School Board members encouraged the public hearing attendees to make it known to state lawmakers and the Westmoreland Supervisors that they would be willing to pay higher taxes in order to appropriately support the county schools.
“That’s what it will take. They need political support from the community before they can raise taxes,” School Board Chairman Wallace said. “It’s not too late to tell the supervisors that we are willing to have our taxes raised.”

Betsy Ficklin
Staff reporter

 

NARFE WEB2 150x300

Contact Lori Deem

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

540-709-7495 • 540-775-2024


 

Quikey

Bulletline


 

Balloon House


 link4

Wedding invitations and other announcements

 

201504getaway

 

201505pr

201505homesection

201506family

2015montross

20150624grad

Contact Us

The Journal Press, Inc. P. O. Box 409, 10250 Kings Hwy. King George, VA 22485

EDITORIAL
George Whitehurst
540-775-2024 Main
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

REPORTING
Leonard Banks
540-469-4196
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phyllis Cook
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Linda Farneth
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Richard Leggitt
540-993-7460
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

GRAPHICS
Leonard Banks
540-469-4196
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ADVERTISING
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ADVERTISING SALES
DeAnte Bryant
540-709-7061
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dennis Verdak
540-709-7076
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

COMMERCIAL PRINTING & SALES
Lori Deem, Print Shop
540-709-7495
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

COMMUNITY &
CHURCH EVENTS

Lori Deem
540-709-7495
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

OFFICE
Jessica Herrink
540-775-2024 (main)
540-469-4031
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Robert Berczuk
540-775-2024
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PRODUCTION/IS

Drue Murray
540-709-7288
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SUBSCRIPTIONS
Bonnie Gouvisis
540-775-2024
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PUBLIC NOTICES
& LEGALS

Lori Deem
540-709-7495
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.