Proposed ’24-’25 SCPS budget OK’d by school board

Published 10:00 am Monday, March 25, 2024

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The Southampton County School Board voted 7-0 on Monday, March 11, to approve the proposed $44.3 million fiscal year 2024-25 Southampton County Public Schools operating budget.

Board Members Donna Rountree and Greg Scott were not present for the vote.

SCPS Director of Finance Joy Carr gave a presentation on the budget prior to the vote during the board’s March 11 meeting, noting that the grand total of the budget, including all programs at the local, state and federal levels, was $44,293,701.

She said that the total requested local, state operating budget for FY 2024-25 was $40,173,261.

Projected state funding was $24,046,833, she said, noting that this total was based on the state Senate’s version of the budget and is based on an Average Daily Membership of 2,334.65.

“Also, nonresident tuition and federal funds for adult education are estimated at $104,300,” she said. “We did not discuss this at the last meeting, but what we do is we put in a $60,000 budget for our nonresident tuition, and the remaining are federal funds for the adult education, which is included in our operation budget.

“Therefore, considering these sources of revenue, we will need $16,022,128 in local revenue to balance our requested operating budget,” she said. “This amount represents an increase of $3,417,934 in local funds over the current budget of $12,604,194.”

Board Vice Chair Christopher Smith Sr., who chairs the board’s budget committee, said, “I think that we’ve been able to put together a needs-based budget.”

Following are some of the details Carr highlighted during her budget presentation at the March 11 meeting.

“This is being presented for your approval tonight,” she said. “And the following items have been incorporated as we discussed in our budget work session meetings.

“We have included a minimum 5% increase for all of our employees,” she said. “We’re raising the beginning teacher salary to $47,500, and it also includes a 12.5% increase for classified employees whose beginning salary is based on the minimum wage.”


She noted that additional employment positions are incorporated into the budget, and those positions are as follows:

  • one technology resource teacher at Riverdale Elementary School;
  • one special education teacher at Nottoway Elementary School;
  • one special education pre-K teacher division-wide;
  • one reading specialist at Southampton Middle School;
  • one paraprofessional for in-school intervention at Riverdale;
  • one kindergarten instructional assistant at Riverdale;
  • one paraprofessional to serve as a parent liaison at Southampton Middle School;
  • one webmaster division-wide; and
  • five school bus aides.


Carr said increases in SCPS employee benefits include social security, life insurance, health insurance and credit and disability benefits as they relate to salary increases across all categories and for the division’s additional personnel.

She noted that there was also a 3.5% increase in health insurance benefits.


Carr said, “Under our instructional needs, we included an increase of $144,436 for contracted international teachers; $93,762 for special education regional tuition; $2,450 increase for special education travel; $1,288 increase for special education materials and supplies; and $18,749 increase for textbooks; $506,050 increase for software and online instructional programs; $42,000 increase for technology, materials and supplies; $20,000 increase for internet services.


“We also increased our legal services by $35,000,” Carr said. “Our contractual services for items such as VSBA and time attendance software was increased by $29,400.”


Carr noted that under recruiting and retention services, “we have an increase of $50,500 for services and materials. This is for job fairs, professional development, background checks and our course reimbursements.”


She said, “We also have a $25,000 increase in educational news media for fliers and pamphlets, online ads, and digital equipment.”


Carr also highlighted increases in the school division’s operational needs.

She said, “Under our operational needs, we have a $3,000 increase for insurance on vehicles; $155,270 increase in diesel and gasoline expenses; a $15,000 increase in purchase services related to bus repairs; a $73,000 increase in service contracts; a $362,370 increase in electrical costs; a $34,027 increase in water and sewer services; a $12,000 increase in telecommunications; a $27,250 increase in property and liability insurance; a $20,000 increase in professional services; and a $500,000 increase for mold prevention and mitigation.

“And these are just the increases that we discussed at the last meeting, and as you look in your budget book, you’ll notice the same reports that we gave you at the last meeting,” she added.

She indicated that there was also some revenue information included.

“We’re currently going to use the (state) Senate’s version,” she said. “The General Assembly did approve a budget, but I have checked with the state department as late as 6 o’clock this evening, and they have yet to post the numbers.

“Of course, the revenue will change, and we know that, and also probably our expenditure budget will change then, and that will all be brought back to you in June for final approval,” she said.

Given the school board’s approval of the division’s proposed budget, it will next come before the Southampton County Board of Supervisors for consideration.