Superintendent's Budget

Two weeks ago Stafford County schools Superintendent Dr. Symons presented his budget for FY2015.  This is the first step in the budget process.  Last night the School Board began our work on the budget with our first work session.  Staff presented an overview of the budget and our financial situation that is driving the budget development.

The school system relies on three primary funding sources.  The federal, state and local governments contribute to fund our schools.  The largest contributor is the local government.  The School Board will continue to develop our budget and in mid to late March will present it to the Board of Supervisors.   The state government funds us through a competitive process where they divide money up between all jurisdictions throughout the Commonwealth.   They use a tool called the composite index to determine how much money they will send to jurisdictions.    Factors such as financial health of a county, population, school population and other factors go into determine the score for a jurisdiction's composite index and money is allocated.    staffbudget.pngBecause for this process Stafford is not considered a part of Northern Virginia we do not get as much money as our neighbors to the north from the state.  

The Superintendent's budget included increases of $12.9 million over last year on items that are mandated.  Most of them mandates are related to things the state government has passed on to the local jurisdictions.  For example the amount we have to contribute to the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) has increased and we are facing a near $4.7million cost increase for VRS this year.  We also anticipate increased cost for healthcare due to mandates in the Affordable Care Act.   Beyond the $12.9 million in mandated cost, Dr. Symons is also requesting an additional $8 million for additional staff, transportation enhancements, software upgrades and other improvements.  

While the Superintendent's budget includes many things that are needed and would be great to have, it is now the job of the School Board to scrub the budget and determine what is truly necessary and what we can do without.  Last night we got our initial look inside of the budget.  We have schedule another work session for Saturday March 1 at 9 AM at Mountain View High School to dive deep into the budget.  I hope during the March 1 session we will spend several hours dissecting the budget and build a budget that is near ready to present to the Board of Supervisors.

Budgets are not easy things.  They will create controversy and concern from the public, teachers, and other key stakeholders in our school system.   We will work hard to ensure our most pressing priorities are met and we have a budget that we have good confidence in that will be fully funded by the Board of Supervisors.

Superintendent's budget presentation

Superintendent's budget document

 

School Board Budget Work Session

Saturday March 1, 2014

Mountain View High School - room to be determined
2135 Mountain View Road
Stafford, VA 22556

Work sessions are open to the public

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@scotthirons tweeted this page. 2014-02-12 11:57:43 -0500
Scott Hirons, Stafford County School Board - Falmouth District posted about Superintendent's Budget on Scott Hirons, Stafford County School Board - Falmouth District's Facebook page 2014-02-12 11:57:43 -0500
Superintendent's Budget FY 2015

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