School Board begins work on budget

Published 10:13 pm Friday, August 9, 2019

Though it may seem like the Suffolk School Board just passed a budget, it’s already time to start planning for the next one.

Suffolk Public Schools’ Executive Director of Finance Wendy Forsman, during the board’s retreat Thursday at King’s Fork High School, outlined a draft of the budget development calendar as the division works through setting priorities and allocations for the fiscal year 2020-2021 budget.

In the current operating budget, the division has a $173.3 million budget, which includes $60.8 million from the city and $90.1 million from the state.

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The current budget, which took effect July 1, included a 2.25-percent raise for teachers, a half-percent raise and a step increase on the pay scale for support staff and a 1.5-percent increase for permanent part-time staff. It is a 2.85-percent increase from the fiscal year 2018-2019 budget.

Forsman said the calendar is a basic plan for the development of the next budget. She wanted the board’s input on any possible changes to the calendar so that when the division presents it to school staff on Sept. 3, “we have a complete listing of what we’re going to do.”

The next state budget will begin a new two-year budget cycle, and the city will not have any state funding projections until Gov. Ralph Northam unveils his proposed budget in mid-December.

“Between now and mid-December, we really don’t have numbers to work with,” Forsman said, “so it’s really, at this point, just how we’re going to develop what we’re going to look at and how we’re going to look at it, and the dates we’re going to use to have things due.”

Board member David Mitnick asked that a date be added so that the board could give its input on anything members might want to have included in the budget. The board approved having a work session Nov. 14.


School Board Budget Development Calendar

  • Aug. 8, 2019 — School Board’s Vision Planning Meeting; School Board priorities established
  • August 2019 — Interim superintendent and city manager initial budget meeting
  • Sept. 3, 2019 — Budget request sheets sent to schools/departments
  • Oct. 7, 2019 — Principal’s budget requests due to Central Administration
  • Oct. 21, 2019 — Budget requests due to Information Technology and Maintenance departments
  • Oct. 28, 2019 — Reviewed departmental budget requests due to superintendent and assistant superintendent
  • Nov. 8, 2019 — Preliminary budget requests submitted to Finance Department
  • Nov. 14, 2019 — School Board work session to introduce items it wants considered in budget
  • Nov. 2019 — Program managers, Finance Department, and staff analyze budget requests
  • Dec. 1, 2019 — Advertise for the community input session
  • Dec. 12, 2019 — Community input session — 7 p.m. (regular School Board meeting)
  • Jan. 8, 2020 — General Assembly convenes session
  • Feb. 13, 2020 — Presentation of proposed budget — 7 p.m. (regular School Board meeting)
  • March 12, 2020 — Public hearing on budget — 7 p.m.
  • March 2020 — School Board work session and approval of budget, 7 p.m.
  • March 2020 — Joint School Board/City Council work session, 4 p.m.
  • April 1, 2020 — Submission of School Board’s approved budget to city
  • March 2020 — City public hearing on city budget that includes school board budget
  • May 2020 — Final adoption of budget — School Board meeting
  • May 2020 — School Board adopts budget