Three funding request options for the Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Center paint three very different pictures of fiscal year 2017-18, but each promises to increase the center’s spending over the current fiscal year.
The plans differ in spending on staffing and raises.
The most expensive option would increase the CATEC budget by $453,000 over the current fiscal year by adding one full-time and three part-time teaching positions, expanding the center’s information technology and health sciences academies, increasing staff salaries and covering expected increases to the cost of benefits.
A second plan maintains the staff raises and mandated Virginia Retirement System and insurance increases and $50,000 for the academies but adds no positions. That option would increase the center’s operating budget by $275,000 — $108,000 in new spending on top of the $167,000 base budget raise — over the current fiscal year.
The cheapest would add $113,000 in new spending. It would keep money for the academies and raises but would forego the addition of new teaching staff and would eliminate one $160,000-a-year administrative position.
The projected spending increases for each option would be in addition to a $167,000 expected increase in the center’s “base” operating budget.
All three spending plans contain $50,000 to expand the center’s offerings in its Health Science and Information Technology academies, key pieces of its 2014 strategic plan.
The IT Academy opened in August and currently serves 18 students, Keiser said, but she expects that number to double by next year.
The most-expensive option would require a 21-percent increase in Albemarle County’s contribution and a 22.9-percent increase from Charlottesville.
Last year, Albemarle County contributed just over $1.5 million to CATEC, while Charlottesville chipped in $522,000. The center’s total 2016-2017 budget came to $3.076 million, budget documents showed.
The VRS increase is expected to cost the center $12,973, documents showed, while the health insurance bump will cost $14,437.
The part-time positions would fill new spots in the newly-opened Information Technology Academy and the Health Sciences Academy.
CATEC Strategic Planning Officer Daphne Keiser presented the options Tuesday at a meeting of the center’s governing board. While the three options each had distinct steps, they were meant to spark discussion, rather than be a menu of set choices.
“We can add something, we can mix and match things,” said board member Leah Puryear. “This is just food for thought to give some ideas so we are not stabbing in the dark.”
Board member Pam Moynihan asked CATEC staff to develop a fourth option that would see the elimination of an administrative position, but retain the staffing additions from option one.
“I am wondering why we cannot take the administrator option and then add the teachers and the instructional assistant, because to me that seems like a wash,” she said.
All three plans are preliminary and based on historical funding data, not on specific direction about next year from either locality, Keiser said.
CATEC documents showed enrollment at the center has risen to 305 students, up 67 from last year’s figure of 238.