The Charlottesville City School Board on Monday got word that city coffers will kick more than $1.9 million in new funding to the division in fiscal year 2016-17.
New funding from the city means the division faces a $215,000 gap between expected revenue and expenses. The division’s funding request sought $2.2 million in additional revenue from the city, documents showed. 
Superintendent Rosa Atkins’ funding request before the board includes $800,000 for salary increases. 
The board on Tuesday recommended that division staff cut about $90,000 by removing a $39,500 request for a full-time homebound teacher position and adjusting the rate for daily substitutes, depending on whether they are a licensed teacher.
Board members raised the base rate proposed by staff from $75 or $80 at the work session. 
“One of the things I continue to be … concerned with is the substitute pay,” said board member Jennifer McKeever. “I feel like we need to support the substitutes.”
The board asked staff to bridge the remaining gap by finding savings in the division’s contribution to employee health care costs. 
Staff members predicted in the Feb. 4 funding request that the division would spend about 10 percent more on health care next fiscal year. At the Tuesday work session, officials estimated that increase would be closer to 9 percent.
That drop should save about $40,000, said Kim Powell, division finance chief. To close the gap, division staff will need to find savings of another 2 percentage points, or $80,000, said Assistant Superintendent Ed Gillaspie. 
The division still does not have a clear picture of how much money will come from state coffers, which could further change the spending plan, Atkins said.
“Should there be some increase of funding coming out of the General Assembly, we would recommend restoring these cuts,” she said.
Expected expenditures for non-discretionary items dropped more than $200,000 between Feb. 4 and Tuesday, documents showed. 
The board now expects to spend more than $1.1 million on increases in retirements, transportation costs, taxes and security. The earlier funding request predicted this figure would be $1.3 million.
The expected increases for transportation costs and facilities maintenance dropped by $159,000 and $46,000, respectively, documents showed. 
The proposed $77.6 million spending plan represents a $2.7 million increase over the current budget. 
State and federal funds are projected to increase by $572,000. 
The schools expect to spend more than $1.6 million on salaries and new staff next year. 
That amount includes more than $800,000 set aside to increase teacher and staff salaries by an average of 2 percent — a 1.25 percent “step” increase for eligible staff, and 0.75 percent for all other staff. 
Staff recommended against reducing the raise rate. 
“As long as we stay competitive to those around us — that is our goal,” Gillaspie said. “I think that has more of a competitive hit than does adjusting our health plan.”
A further $645,000 would go toward hiring new staff — including $94,000 to hire an additional lead math teacher and $83,000 to fill unexpected vacancies. 
The board is scheduled to approve the superintendent’s funding request Feb. 18 before pre-senting it to the City Council on March 7.