P.O. Drawer 140, 100 Central Circle
Low Moor, VA 24457
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CALLED MEETING OF THE ALLEGHANY COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD
May 5, 2008
The Alleghany County School Board held a called meeting on May 5, 2008, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Office Complex in Low Moor, VA.
PRESENT: R. Joe Anderson; Stacey P. Bryant; H. Hunter Fridley; Robert A. Fridley; Randall S. Tucker, Vice Chairman; and Michael L. Whitehead, Chairman. Also present: Robert P. Grimesey, Superintendent/Clerk
ABSENT: David W. Halsey
Chairman Whitehead presided and called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. The call to order was followed by a moment of silence and the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
Superintendent’s Reports and Recommendations
(08-315) APPROVE REVISIONS TO 2008-2009 OPERATING BUDGET
Dr. Grimesey presented and reviewed a revised budget explaining the revisions that were needed due to a cut of $200,000 in local funding by the Alleghany County Board of Supervisors. He noted the local contribution from the Board of Supervisors consisted of 39% of the School Board’s budget in 2003-2004, and that the current revised budget calls for the Supervisors’ contribution to be 29.3% for 2008-2009.
He explained that the administration’s recommended reductions were limited only to proposed increases for 2008-2009. “We sought to reduce the amount of budget growth as opposed to going in and cutting existing allocations in the current budget,” he said. He reviewed proposed reductions in administrative services, which included fuel, electricity, water/sewer, heating oil, and postage costs. Each line will be reduced from a 10% increase to a 5% increase, he recommended. Dr. Grimesey noted that any underestimation in these budget lines could be covered by delaying a bus purchase in 2008-2009. He recommended a reduction in the proposed 4%-plus-step increase in salaries and wages to 3.5%-plus-step. The cut in the salary line also resulted in a reduction in the proposed allocation for Jackson River Technical Center since the Center’s proposed salary increase was based on a formula that was affected by increases and decreases proposed by both Alleghany and Covington City, Dr. Grimesey explained. He added that further reductions on the JRTC line resulted from further refinements to JRTC’s capital improvement carry-over line, as provided by Tom Beirne, Director of JRTC.
Dr. Grimesey went on to recommend elimination of proposed increases to graduate tuition assistance, technology replacement, special education, and building level allocations for equipment, materials and consumables. He expressed hope that Congressional resolution of supplemental funding for the federal forest reserve fund may allow the school board to replace these final cuts some time during the summer months.
Dr. Grimesey concluded that he was disappointed that the reductions were necessary, but he added that he respected the circumstances under which the Supervisors felt they were necessary.
Chairman Whitehead said he appreciated Dr. Grimesey and his staff for their hard work with the budget. He added he realized this was a tough year and that next year could be tough also. He stated he was glad to see the 3.5% increase for employees and that the Board was able to cover its share of the health insurance premium increase. Mr. Tucker expressed concern about the possibility of delaying the purchases of any school buses. He also stated he felt that the $200,000 cut by the Supervisors was triggered by a comment made by a member of the Board of Supervisors that the school division’s proposed cost-of-living salary increase of 4% was too high. He stated everyone needs to keep in mind that the School Board is paying the people who educate our children. Dr. Grimesey added that many school boards across Virginia are wrestling with the same budget reduction issues that confront the Alleghany County School Board. He noted that the Virginia General Assembly took pride in not reducing state funding for education. However, the Assembly then balanced its own budget by cutting other aid to local governments. As a result, the Assembly created a situation in which local governments were forced to consider the very same reductions in support for education.
MOTION: That the Board approve the revisions to the 2008-2009 operating budget, as presented.
MOTION: Mr. Tucker
SECOND: Mrs. Bryant
TIME: 6:53 p.m.
(08-316) Additions to agenda
There were no additions to the agenda.
MOTION: That the May 5, 2008 called meeting of the Alleghany County School Board be adjourned.
MOTION: Mr. Hunter Fridley
SECOND: Mr. Randy Tucker
TIME: 6:54 p.m.
Chairman, Alleghany County School BoardClerk