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The York County School Division will likely head into the next fiscal year with a budget smaller than what the School Board originally proposed.
Last week, the York County Board of Supervisors adopted a $133.4 million budget for fiscal year 2016, which begins July 1. About $51.3 million will go toward the school division — $671,848 less than what the School Board asked for.
The with the county’s budget set, YCSD will have to reduce its budget proposal for next year by an equivalent amount, dropping it to a new total of $129,290,513. The School Board is scheduled to vote on a resolution reconciling its budget to account for the county’s fund transfer at a special meeting Monday night at York Hall.
The School Board had originally approved a $129.9 million budget proposal for fiscal year 2016, a 3 percent increase over last year’s $125.5 million document. The original budget proposal asked for more than $1 million more from the county than it provided last year, for a total local contribution of $51,947,292.
Then-interim County Administrator Mark Carter’s proposed budget provided the schools with $361,000 in extra funding, but more than $671,000 less than what the schools had requested. That reduced request was finalized with the passage of the county’s budget this week.
York County is the second-largest funding source for YCSD, with a projected total contribution of more than $52 million, including funding for operations, grounds and maintenance, for fiscal year 2016. The state of Virginia is the largest funding source, providing about $61.1 million for the schools.
Superintendent Victor Shandor had emphasized three priorities for the coming fiscal year throughout the school divison’s budget process: transportation upgrades, technology upgrades and employee compensation.
On Tuesday night, Carter said the $361,000 in additional county funds would cover Shandor’s request for pay increases, while the other two priorities would likely be covered by one-time expenditure funds and end-of-year funds from the current budget.
The Board of Supervisors also agreed to fully fund the school division’s capital improvement plan, which outlines spending on major dollar construction projects. The proposed CIP for includes a new elementary school, totaling $23 million in fiscal year 2017.
The budget processes for the county and school division have been relatively quiet one year after teachers and parents rallied at meetings of the Board of Supervisors and School Board to support a tax increase to fully fund YCSD’s request for $52.9 million in county dollars.
The supervisors ultimately approved a budget that left a nearly $2 million shortfall in funding for the schools.
Parents and teachers protested the supervisors for their decision, and YCSD cut multiple staff positions and delayed equipment upgrades to meet the shortfall, and did not approve a final budget until June.
School Board Chairman Mark Medford has said the conversations between the two county boards vastly improved this year.