Budget talks for fiscal year 2021 are expected to continue when Halifax County School Board meets Monday evening at 6:30 p.m. in the public meeting room of the Mary Bethune Office Complex in Halifax.
School board members have been reviewing the proposed $60,700,272 budget with the expectation that they could receive an additional $2,179,876 in revenue from the state and level funding from the county.
In previous budget talks, board members have discussed the possibility of giving teachers a 2% raise plus step increase at a cost of $1,091,916.
Superintendent Dr. Mark Lineburg said that would translate to between 3.4% and 3.7%.
He also suggested adding $288,000 to adjust the salary scale toward the top of the scale.
They also considered giving non-teaching staff a 3% raise at a cost of $486,812 as well as an additional 1% raise for support staff at a cost of $80,000.
Support staff includes positions such as custodians, bus drivers and aides.
Not only is the school attempting to give raises to teachers, non-teachers and support staff, but they’re also facing the possibility of state mandates of minimum wage for support staff and substitutes costing roughly $159,755.
The general assembly has been reviewing two bills, HB395 that could raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour, and SB7 that would increase the minimum wage to $15 only in Northern Virginia rather than statewide. Other regions of Virginia would raise the minimum wage by smaller amounts, based on median household income.
The raises, possible state mandates for minimum wage and an increase in health insurance alone could cost the school system $2,661,267.
Other items considered as part of the budget was $100,000 to add school counselors to meet state requirements, $65,000 for a safety coordinator, $65,000 for mental health specialist and $65,000 for a writing specialist.
The board also considered spending $57,960 to replace 15 white fleet cars.
Board members also are slated to complete the following:
• Recognize students from South Boston/Halifax Early Learning Center as part of a student learning spotlight;
• Hear a report about the joint facilities committee meeting that was held on Friday;
• Revisit policy GCBH that determines which employee holidays are approved by the board;
• Revisit proposed school board goals;
• Review a revision to the school system’s homework policy;
• Review the proposed policy MB participation with non-school athletic teams that could potentially protect students, coaches and teachers from a conflict of interest; and
• Hear any remarks provided during the citizen comment portion of the meeting.
At the conclusion of the meeting, board members are expected to enter into closed session to discuss personnel and property matters.