Thanks for reading Fluco Blog. I’m Perrie Johnson, Fork Union’s representative to the Fluvanna County School Board. My goal with Fluco Blog is to let people know what’s going on at School Board meetings beyond the reports available online. Be forewarned, when it comes to discussion, most of the comments I remember turn out to be mine! Here’s the latest…
The Board met last Tuesday morning to talk about early plans for the 2019 budget. This applies to the 2018-19 school year. I appreciated that a survey was sent to staff, asking about budget priorities AND cost saving measures. Most respondents were teachers, and interestingly, many more were from the high school than any other building. It’s often the reverse with the spring survey.
Reporting the results gets a little bumpy because people were asked for their first, second, and third choices, and I’m just sticking with responses that came in at #1. You’ll see what I mean. Putting together all similar references (meaning I added together responses labeled salary, teachers’ salaries, and salary scales) salary was the #1 priority of more than half the respondents. The next #1 priority (again, putting together all similar references) was staff. I assume this means additional staff, as in allowing for lower class sizes or providing more special ed services. The third #1 priority was instructional funds.
Turning to cost saving measures, and there weren’t as many of these, the #1 suggestion was cutting energy costs. The next #1 (and again, I’m putting together all similar references) was reducing certain categories of certified, but non-classroom staff. And the third #1 (if you get me) was a tie between decreasing the number of assessments and bus routes.
Most of the priorities and savings suggestions were addressed during the rest of the meeting. I’ll turn you loose on the reports online at this point (Oct 10) and you can draw your own conclusions. There were some important salary comparisons for non-certified staff (bus drivers, custodians, cafeteria, aides, etc), another interest of mine. I did have some comments about the reporting of our administrative salaries compared to other districts. Our administrative scales were used in the comparison, but they are not applied as one would assume in reality.
SO FAR, and it is very early and elections are coming, most Board members were in favor of holding employees harmless for a possible 15% increase in health insurance premiums, supporting current salary steps, and making some adjustments to Scale B.
We had another meeting the next day. It went pretty quick. I’ll try not to drag it out.
The superintendent presented two reports originally requested by Mr. Rittenhouse. The first was about buses and school vehicles. There was some discussion, mostly against reducing our three separate bus runs down to two, but I’d like the Board to consider it further, after input from bus drivers and others. The second report provided a description and cost of programs for disadvantaged students. US Flucos inspired some discussion. Mr. Rittenhouse remembered it as a $22,000 budget item a few years ago and this year it’s $98,875, mostly because a full time teacher is now included. When asked how many students are served by the program, principals reported 15-20 at the middle school and 350 (all 8th grade, as I understood the reference) at FCHS.
Thanks again for reading. I hope it helps!
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This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. The views expressed in this blog are purely my own and do not represent the Fluvanna County School Board, the school superintendent, or anyone else. Comments added by others are not necessarily my opinions and I am not responsible for their content.