City schools seek 16% hike in local funding

Published 9:33 am Saturday, May 5, 2012

FRANKLIN—The Franklin School Board will ask the City Council for 16 percent more funds than last year to balance the school division’s proposed $13.6 million budget for 2012-13.

City Manager Randy Martin said he hasn’t seen the school budget and doesn’t want to pre-judge, but he said it would be tough to increase funding for any city department during this budget cycle.

“For any agency to receive additional funds, it will be difficult,” Martin said. “It’s going to be a very tough year.”

The school board on Thursday voted unanimously to adopt the budget, which represents a 7 percent increase in total spending, doesn’t call for job cuts and could result in either a 2 percent or 3 percent bonus for full-time employees.

The 3 percent bonus would cost $254,000. A 2 percent bonus would cost $183,000.

The budget calls for $5.4 million in local tax revenue, up $763,558 from the current fiscal year.

This will be the fifth consecutive year school employees would go without a raise.

The budget also provides for an additional teacher to abide by Gov. Bob McDonnell’s class-size reduction program for kindergarten through third grades.

The budget would cut funding in half for dual enrollment classes through Paul D. Camp Community College, meaning the district would only pay for one dual enrollment class instead of two. Parents would have to pay for additional classes. Dual enrollment allows Franklin High School students to earn college credit while taking upper-level classes.

“That’s one area I don’t want to see us cut,” said board member Edna King. “I don’t want to see us go from two dual enrollment classes to one.”

King suggested giving employees a 2 percent bonus and using any additional money to help fund dual enrollment.

The school budget will be presented to the City Council at 6:15 p.m. Monday, May 14, at City Hall.