JAMES CITY COUNTY — The Williamsburg-James City County (WJCC) School Division is currently trying to find a way to spend $7 million of additional revenue beyond the adopted budget over the next three weeks.
Chief Financial Officer Rene Ewing presented an amendment to the operating budget during WJCC’s School Board meeting on Tuesday, June 1.
The adopted budget for the fiscal year 2021 assumed a reduction in education sales tax and state lottery funds of approximately 40%.
“I am happy to say that we have not seen a decline in these revenue areas this year,” Ewing told the School Board.
Based on the revised state estimates, the division is projected to receive almost $5.7 million more in education sales tax funding beyond what the division budgeted this fiscal year.
The division anticipates about a $145,000 reduction in its federal and other revenue categories.
“Overall we are projecting to receive $7,144,000 of additional revenue beyond our adopted budget,” Ewing said.
Ewing explained to the board that by adding this additional revenue, this will amend the division’s 2021 fiscal year operating budget to a total of over $147 million.
The last-minute change in additional funding is because the approval of the sales tax flow-through had to be approved by each locality first. The Williamsburg City Council approved the adjustment on May 13, while James City County Board of Supervisors gave their approval on May 25.
The sales tax amount for education is based on sales across the entire state.
School Board Member Kyra Cook said that this estimate was possibly an over-projection based on their reaction to the decline in tourism in their local economy.
During the school board meeting, the division proposed spending $941,525 on purchasing and replacing projectors and teacher computer control panels in schools across the division, as many of the classrooms are using older technology for the projectors and worn-out teacher control panels.
The instructional technology standard for each classroom in the division includes a ceiling-mounted projector and teacher control panel.
Senior Director of Technology, Brian Landers, explained that the $941,525 purchase will allow for a modern laser projector and teacher control panel for 325 classrooms.
Other potential expenditures are currently being identified and will be presented to the school board for consideration at the Tuesday, June 15 school board meeting.
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