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School Board requests that funds be returned

Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at 12:42 pm

The Colonial Beach School Board has asked the Colonial Beach Town Council to give back funds returned at the end of fiscal 2019. The School Board had a remainder of around $300,000 at the end of the funding for 2018-2019. They are asking for the town to return that money to the school to help pay for unfunded programs.

Last school year Dr. Kevin Newman, then superintendent, anticipated the annual daily membership to be 585 students. Due to an influx of new students the ADM ended up being 620. As the state does not calculate the ADM until March 31 of every year; that means the funding for the ADM does not come in until the end of the year.

In the 2018-2019 year funding came in even later than normal. It is likely much of the remainder returned to the town was state monies according to School Board Chair Tim Trivett. As the funding was so late in getting to the school system it was not spent.

Town Manager Quinn Robertson wrote a six-page letter to the Town Council stating that the town should not only turn a portion of the funding back to the school to help pay for “SOL employee raises.” Governor Ralph Northam is currently working on a budget that would give raises to Standards of Quality employees of school systems in Virginia. Not all staff fall under the SOQ guidelines including paraprofessionals and non faculty staff.

School Superintendent Dashaun Turner presented the council with the needs that the school is going without from replacement of elderly school buses to textbooks for new Standard of Learnings requirements. It is recommended by the Virginia School Board Association that schools replace 10% of their buses yearly to keep buses functioning properly and safely.

In contrast Robertson is calling on the schools to lower the number of buses in the school system from 10 to 6 which is a 40% decrease in number of buses. “My assertion is that we can run two routes per bus which affectively[sic] decrease our fleet numbers.”

Not only would this make the school system have to change its hours, but increase the number of hours put on each bus. It would cause issues with school field trips and take away the ability for the school to send athletic teams to other schools to compete.

For the full article, pick up the latest Westmoreland News 2/27/19