While facing $811,701 worth of budget requests in December centered around topics such as security, mental health and compensation, Halifax County School Board plans to continue budget talks when they meet Monday evening at 6 p.m. in the School Board Conference Room at the Mary Bethune Office Complex in Halifax.
The public is invited to give their say on what they also would like to see included in the 2020-21 budget when the board meets for this public input hearing followed by a budget work session.
In December, the board reviewed $579,187 worth of personnel requests, $70,299 worth of non-personnel school requests and $162,215 worth of non-personnel department requests.
Requests included items such as $50,000 for a coordinator of school safety, which was later increased to $65,000, $1,000 for two security systems at Scottsburg Elementary as well as $5,000 for safety items such as cameras, metal detectors and security fencing for Halifax County High School.
Included in the personnel requests also was $60,000 for a reading specialist and $60,000 for a math specialist.
The board also has explored the idea of hiring a writing specialist and/or providing a writing lab to include public speaking and education on proper presentations, which interim finance director Robert Aylor said would cost $65,000.
Also included in the budget requests was $15,000 for a dean of students as well as $25,000 to pay additional assistant coaches for the swim, cross country, volleyball, winter cheer, boys soccer and boys tennis teams at the high school.
Other items included in the non-personnel requests were $25,000 for playground expansion at South Boston/Halifax Early Learning Center, $2,000 for chapter books for all grades at Scottsburg Elementary, $15,000 for a digital marquee at Halifax County Middle School, $9,299 for Google expeditions virtual reality kits and $13,000 for consumable materials for the Career and Technical Education department.
Non-personnel department requests reviewed include two work vans for $25,000, a work truck for $10,000, two commercial riding mowers for $22,000, equipment and maintenance shed for $25,000, LETRS training for 24 first-grade teachers for $8,395, replacement of 15 SPED cars for $57,960 and installation of video on SPED cars for $13,860.