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City school board approves $106.9 million budget request

The Charlottesville School Board has officially signed off on a $106.9 million funding request for the coming fiscal year.

The spending plan relies on an additional $878,521 from the city council beyond what is typically allocated to the division through a funding formula. The budget is largely unchanged from what schools Superintendent Royal Gurley Jr. presented to the board last month.

The board unanimously approved the request during a special meeting Thursday.

The bulk of the new spending in the budget goes toward giving employees a 5% raise and to cover cost increases related to health insurance. The raises and other salary actions would cost $3.78 million.

Officials have said this is a key year to decrease the division’s dependence on federal stimulus funds that supported a range of new expenses in the current operating budget from staff raises to new positions.

The Charlottesville school division has received $15.7 million in federal stimulus funds since the start of the pandemic, which must be spent by Sept. 30, 2024.

The new budget would reduce reliance on one-time federal funds from about $4.8 million to $2.1 million with help from $1.4 million in cost cuts, including eliminating 15 instructional assistants.

No layoffs are planned and job reductions are expected to occur through attrition.

The division is expecting to have about $6.8 million of the $15.7 million in federal funds remaining to use for one-time construction projects.

Board chairwoman Lisa Larson-Torres thanked Gurley for his work on the budget — his first as superintendent.

The operating budget totals $83,267,031, which is a $3.9 million increase from the current year. Special revenue funds, which include the stimulus money, total $23.6 million.

Under the funding request, the city’s appropriation — $62,925,964 — would make up about 63% of the total budget.

Interim City Manager Michael Rogers will present the city’s budget proposal to the city council on March 7. Councilor s will discuss that plan in several work sessions before voting to adopt tax rates and a budget for fiscal year 2023 in April.

No one from the public commented on the spending plan at Thursday’s meeting before the board’s vote.

Source: www.dailyprogress.com

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