Botetourt County School Board sent a $49.3 million school budget for 2008-09 to the Board of Supervisors on Thursday night, March 28, after the budget public hearing. The total ask for new local monies is $206,351, only a 0.97 percent increase over the current year’s budget.
The public once again this year did not show up for the public hearing, but as Ruth Wallace, school board chairman stated, “It’s a no frills budget, but it will do the job.”
The school board approved the budget as presented by administration. John Busher and Brenda Bartee were praised for their hard work on the budget as well during the medical absence of Dr. Tony Brads.
Re-benchmarking of the Virginia Retirement Service rate and the Composite Index figures due to lower growth gave the school division an increase in state revenue for the new budget year. Teachers will get between a 3 percent and 5 percent raise depending on their level on the step scale, said school Superintendent Dr. Tony Brads. All other employees will receive a pay raise as well, of varying degrees, but at least 2 percent. Ten new positions from teachers (three of which will reduce fifth-grade class size) to a custodian are in the new budget, as well as increased funding for fuel and utilities.
Brads praised the cooperation between the school division, the school board and the board of supervisors.”The atmosphere of teamwork prevails upon this process.”
Self-sustaining funds managed by the county and including No Child Left Behind federal funds, state funds for specified programs, the Roanoke Valley Regional Program and the school nutrition program add just under $5.5 million, making the total budget for 2008-09 $54,804,000.
The next step — Botetourt County Board of Supervisors must add the school budget into the county budget for 2008-09. “That’s a great figure,” Supervisor Billy Martin from Blue Ridge, who attended the meeting, said when he quizzed Brads about the total new local dollars asked for in the budget proposal prior to the school board approval of the 2008-09 budget.