June 2019

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 biggest discussion of the June meeting was why we have over $1 million dollars left in the 2019 budget, what to do with it, and how to use that money more efficiently in the future.

It turns out that, if not for some significant end-of-the-year purchases, we would actually have had a similar amount left over for at least the last 3 years.  The leftover comes mainly from the difficulty in budgeting for payroll costs which account for a huge portion of our expenses, about 80%.  Difficulties include estimating how many employees will retire and probably be replaced by less experienced (lower compensated) employees, how many positions will be vacated during the year with substitutes filling in, and in these days of personnel shortages, how many positions will not be filled at all for lack of qualified candidates.

Discussion of what to do with the money left this year settled on some replenishing of technology funds cut from the beginning budget, a contribution to our health insurance “cushion” for paying unexpected claims, then returning $1 million to the Board of Supervisors and asking for half of it back.

As for using the money more efficiently in the future, because the leftover is a result of actual payroll costs being consistently below budget for a number of years, and this money has always been approved by the Board for payroll and presented to the Board of Supervisors as instructional, the Board felt safe applying this money to an additional 1% raise for all employees, above the state’s partially funded 3%.  We simply hope this change closes the gap between budgeted payroll and actual expenses.

My only hesitation was that I’d like to target improvement for our lowest paid employees and Teacher Scale B, but I’ll keep these conversations going.

I like to mention the public comments, and we had one in June, a person very unhappy with the Board’s representation this year.   We’ll conduct a self-evaluation in the fall.

Next month, in addition to our regular meeting, we have a seminar tentatively planned for July 30 to look at Scale B, test scores, strategic priorities, and, after looking at the staff survey, I asked for a discussion on discipline.  Not numbers, but conversation about staff concerns.

Thanks again, for reading.

 

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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.

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