Franklin faces $150,000 budget shortfall

Published 9:44 am Saturday, March 10, 2012

By Stephen H. Cowles / contributing writer

FRANKLIN—During a recent budget work session, the Franklin School Board learned it faces about a $150,000 shortfall for next year’s budget.

The Board will have a better idea once the state determines the funding amount for the district. The Board will continue working on the budget during a 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 13, meeting at City Hall. It is open to the public.

During the recent work session, the board learned the district could expect $15.69 million in local, state and other funding sources for 2012-13 under the governor’s plan. For the current budget, $15.76 million was received.

The reason for the decrease is that federal stimulus funding of $354,884 will be eliminated for next year. That is jobs money that was part of a government stimulus program launched three to four years ago.

The Senate’s version for funding proposes $8.15 million from the state, which would give the district a total of $15.99 million.

Supervisor of Finance Rachel Yates noted the district faces paying more for the Virginia Retirement System, group life and health insurance, transportation field trips/substitute drivers, dual enrollment and software costs.

Superintendent Dr. Michelle R. Belle summarized this discussion as “an overview.”

“We’ll really hammer out reductions at the next meeting,” Belle said.

Yates stressed Friday that Belle won’t propose any budget until later this month. Further, no decision has been made for balancing the budget whether by layoffs or cutting programs, or even if raises are possible for any school employee.