$5.2M shortfall

Published 12:26 pm Saturday, March 2, 2013

IOW county schools propose $63.7 million budget


ISLE OF WIGHT COUNTY—A $5.2 million shortfall faces the Isle of Wight County Schools’ proposed $63.7 million operating budget.

Presented Friday by Superintendent Katrise Perera during a school board meeting, the 2013-14 budget is 8 percent higher than this year’s $59 million spending plan.

The proposed budget does not include personnel cuts.

“I want to emphasize this is proposed,” Perera said.

The increase is attributed to rising fuel and health care costs, meeting federal or state regulations including helping fund the Virginia Retirement System, and Gov. Bob McDonnell’s proposed 2 percent salary increase for teachers, which would require a match from school districts.

The budget includes a $27.6 million contribution from the county. Counties are normally asked to help school districts with shortfalls.

Carrsville District County Supervisor Rex Alphin said he needs to see the budget to more fully comment on it especially since the process has just begun.

“Budget shrinkage might come into place. We need to see their needs and what can be pared,” said Alphin. “It’s going to be a difficult, difficult year. We’ll do all we can.”

He agreed that sequestration will have an effect as far as federal funding for certain areas, and these would be passed on to communities.

“Our citizens need to know that,” Alphin said.

He praised the teachers and the administration for providing “a quality system.”

“As a board, we do all we can with fiscal constraints, and therein lies the struggle,” he said.

The school district also expects to receive $25.6 million from Virginia and $4.3 million from the federal government.