Charlottesville City Schools expects to ask the City Council to increase its contribution to the division by more than $2.4 million for Fiscal Year 2016-17. Kim Powell, the division’s director of finance and budget, presented Superintendent Rosa Atkins’ funding request to the School Board on Thursday.
The spending plan represents a $2,996,781, or 4 percent, increase over the current division budget, Powell said.
As presented, the funding request would total $77,847,529, she said.
The state is expected to increase its contribution to the city schools by $572,536, leaving the division to ask for $2.4 million more from city coffers.
Powell stressed that the numbers in the request are subject to change, pending approval of Charlottesville’s and the state’s budget.
“Local support is the key,” she said. “The budget is still subject to change, the state budget process is still underway.”
More than half of the projected spending growth is taken up by salary increases and new positions, budget documents showed.
The schools expect to spend $1,631,284 more on salaries, positions and materials to support educational programs, Powell said.
Increases to Virginia Retirement System and health care costs, taxes, transportation and security — non-discretionary expenses — add another $1,365,497, the presentation showed.
Those increases include $397,000 in health insurance costs, $229,000 in the city contract for transportation services, $191,000 for VRS base rate and $136,000 in the maintenance and facilities contract with the city.
The division expects to spend more than $810,000 to increase staff salaries by an average of 2 percent. The increase would include a “step” increase of 1.25 percent for eligible staff, and 0.75 percent for all staff.
Another $75,000 would pay for $26-a-day raises for long-term substitute teachers.
City schools also raised that figure $26 last year, from $155 to $181 per day. This year’s proposed raise would bring the per-day total to $207, or $1 below the Albemarle County school division’s rate, Powell said.
Another $80,000 is earmarked to raise short-term substitute pay to $75 a day for those with an associate’s degree, $81 a day for those with a bachelor’s or higher and $91 for substitutes with a teaching degree.
Board member Ned Michie asked staff to present a proposal with the rate capped at $85 a day.
“It’s also something for staff to consider, whether you are getting that much more bang for your buck educationally,” Michie said.
Board member Jennifer McKeever said she would support raising the pay to $81 a day minimum. She also asked staff to clarify whether a teaching degree meant a teaching certificate.
“I would say the minimum should be $81 a day,” she said. “… To me, it is sort of superfluous whether they have a four-year degree or not. I want all substitutes to be paid more.”
The division asked for more than $645,000 to hire new staff.
That money includes $94,000 to hire an additional lead math teacher, an $83,000 allowance to fill unexpected vacancies, $75,000 to hire an iSTEM — integrated science, technology, engineering and mathematics — teacher and $70,000 for an additional elementary school art teacher, the report showed.
The current city schools budget is $74,850,748, city records show. The City Council appropriated $47,342,848 to the division for the current fiscal year. The remainder of the funding comes from state and federal coffers.
Charlottesville expects to allocate the schools $47.7 million in local funding for the coming fiscal year, a city general fund expenditure forecast showed.
The School Board will hold a budget work session Feb. 16 at the Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center. The board is scheduled to approve the superintendent’s funding request Feb. 18, before presenting it to the City Council on March 7.
The city is expected to pass its budget April 12.