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School Board approves proposed budget

Friday, Mar. 14 | By Hannah Dellinger
On Monday night, the school board approved a budget proposal. Now, they have to give it a $3 million haircut.

Superintendent Dr, David Jeck’s proposed $132,627,153 budget asks for an additional $5.1 million more than last year’s. But the county's proposed budget, which would fuel school expenditures, calls for about $2 million more than last year.

The proposed budget will go forward to the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors for a joint work session on Thursday at 4 p.m.

Raymond “Duke” Bland Sr., representing the Marshall District on the board, urged the public to go to the Board of Supervisors public hearing and to get involved with the budget process.

“Please make sure that you attend all of the public hearings,” said Bland. “We need to hear from you and the Board of Supervisors need to hear from you as well…Tell us what you support and tell us why you don’t support it, if you don’t. We need to hear from you, we work for you.”

According to Dr. David Jeck, superintendent the schools, the division will need at least a minimum of an additional $1.7 million.

“In order for us to do tomorrow what we're doing today, it will cost $1.7 million,” said Jeck when he presented the proposal to the school board in January.

Because of the 2013 Virginia Pension Reform, there is a mandatory increase in benefits that every school division in the state of Virginia must pay into. Because the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) didn’t earn enough in investments during the recession, school systems must start paying back into VRS with interest.

This means that there is a required 2.84 percent increase that will total an additional $1.9 million from the school system into VRS.

State funding is projected to decrease by .01 percent, due to changes in the county’s composite index. The Governor’s proposed budget will change Fauquier’s composite index from 0.5377 to 0.5584, decreasing the state’s portion of the per pupil funding.

In other business:

The school board approved an amendment to a resolution dedicating right-of-way on Fauquier High School property to N.V.P. Inc. for a turn lane for the proposed Stone Crest development. The board had previously approved giving right-of-way for 1,583 square feet on the Western edge of FHS adjacent to Waterloo Road. The town of Warrenton made some design changes, and reduced the requested amount of property to 1,575 square feet. The adopted resolution reflects these design changes.

The board approved a request for a guaranteed maximum price contract amendment with The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company for $2,327,597 for renovations to the old 300 wing and the 1979 building of Fauquier High School. The building contract includes renovations to connect the old wing with the energy efficient geothermal heating and cooling system and will enclose the 1979 building where the demolition of the 1963 building occurred. Improvements to the 1979 building will include a new entrance and stairs on the North end and a small heating boiler.

The board approved the endorsement of March as the official Youth Art Month.

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