Schools approve budget
Published 8:34 pm Monday, March 21, 2016
The Suffolk School Board on Monday approved a budget that includes 19 new positions and a 3-percent raise for all full-time employees.
The budget requests an additional $1 million in funding from the city and uses about $4.3 million in additional revenue from the state.
Two percent of the raise is from the state increase, and the remainder is the last year of the state-mandated 5-percent Virginia Retirement System shift to employees paying for part of their own retirement.
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The new positions include four middle-school literacy specialists and eight general teachers, which will be placed throughout the system based on enrollment, Superintendent Dr. Deran Whitney said during Monday morning’s special meeting.
The budget also includes funds for three full-time graduation coaches, one English specialist and three alternative education special education teachers.
The General Assembly’s final budget included a net total of about $77,000 more for Suffolk Public Schools than the governor’s proposed budget. However, there were cuts in some areas. For example, the middle-school literacy specialists were cut, but Whitney decided to make them four of the 12 new general positions because they are so needed.
The total budget is about $157.5 million, a 4-percent increase from last year. The proposal includes total local funding of $54.57 million.
The school system’s budget will now be considered by City Council as part of its annual budget process.