Accomack County Schools submit budget proposal to Board of Supervisors

February 17, 2022
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The Accomack County School Board submitted their annual budget request to the Accomack County Board of Supervisors Wednesday night.  The budget was approved by the  School Board at Tuesday night’s regular monthly meeting. 

School system Finance Director Beth Onley  introduced the budget total of $52,481,442. The budget includes a 5% increase for all teachers and staff this year. The raises are contingent on the School System receiving an anticipated increase from the state. The final state budget has not yet been passed by the General Assembly.

State funding for the school budget comprises 63.5% with local funding comprising 35.2% with federal funding .36% and other revenue comprising .82%

Accomack Schools spend 70.4% of their revenue on instruction, 10.7% on Operations and Maintenance. 6.6% on transportation, 5.4% administrative and health.

The proposed budget will have to be adopted by the School Board and then presented to the Board of Supervisors.

Supervisor Paul Muhly commented that research he has done has revealed that a website that rates schools did not give Accomack County Schools very good ratings. Muhly said that if we redirected money from buildings to teachers, it might improve those ratings. Muhly stated that Worcester County schools were rated much higher.

Superintendent Chris Holland said  “You have your ratings… I don’t know what you’re looking at but we have kids who graduate here and have done well.  We’re taking our money and using it for our students and teachers.  Our kids are going to great schools… our teachers are doing a good job.”

Supervisor Crockett said that perhaps the teacher raises that have been allocated over the last few years will turn this around.

Chief financial officer Beth Onley said  “COCA has and will go a long way toward helping us better compete with Worcester County… $1.6 million last year went to teachers… We are hoping it will continue in this year’s budget.”

COCA funding was allocated to Accomack and Northampton County in last year’s budget to enable the school systems to better compensate teachers and staff and reduce the staff migration to Worcester County. Onley said that while the allocation was for one year only last year, it was included in the budget that Governor Northam created before he left office and it is hoped will be in Governor Youngkin’s budget.

Holland added ” we have $138 million worth of buildings to maintain.  We have to maintain facilities to give our students places to learn and grow.  It is our goal to give each student, whether he or she wants to go to college or to learn a trade, the best opportunity to succeed.”

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