One of the most contentious issues in Colonial Beach, the independent school system, has again come to the forefront for the Town Council. With budget season upon the town, and the school system asking for $2.5 million in order to keep funding at the same level as previous years, several heated work sessions have taken place.
Wednesday April 23, was the second five-hour budget session for the members of the council. At this session, the School Board and Superintendent were there to present their requested budget, which asked for $2,530,704 in funding for the 2014-2015 school year.
For 2013-2014, the town gave the school system $2,103,198. The town budget draft presented on April 16 listed the minimum state requirement of $1,532,321 from the town for the school system. This would drop the funding $570,877 just from the town’s portion.
According to JD Martin, CFO of the school system, the state’s anticipated funding is $146,974 less than the previous year.
This leaves the school system with a budget shortfall of nearly a million dollars at a time when the school is facing massive upheaval. The fire of January 5, sent elementary students to Oak Grove Baptist Church and is costing the system money to take care of everything on the former campus, as well as things at the temporary school.
Other increases include the required Virginia Retirement Services contribution which is continuing to go up and anticipated to cost an extra $95,000 in the next budget year.