Saturday, January 28, 2023

York Supes to Host First Public Forum on Upcoming Budget

Members of the York County School Board and Board of Supervisors gathered Dec. 2 for a joint work session (Ian Brickey, WYDaily).
Members of the York County School Board and Board of Supervisors gathered Dec. 2 for a joint work session (Ian Brickey, WYDaily).

Citizens wishing to provide input on York County’s forthcoming budget will have an opportunity to share their suggestions with the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

The budget, which is approved each year in May by the Board of Supervisors, uses fiscal years. This year’s budget will run from July 1 to June 30, 2016.

No preliminary figures have been released for the fiscal year 2016 budget, although supervisors learned in September there was a projected $1.8 million surplus from the fiscal year that ended in June.

Interim County Administrator Mark Carter will eventually release his proposed budget, which offers the supervisors a starting point for discussion.

Much of the county’s revenue comes from the real estate tax, which remained level in fiscal year 2015 at 75.15 cents per $100 of assessed value.

Supervisors unanimously approved the fiscal year 2015 budget of $132.5 million in May 2014, with $50.9 million allocated to the York County School Division.

Each year, the York County School Board presents a proposed budget to the Board of Supervisors for funding of the school division. Last year, the school board presented a budget that included $2 million more than the supervisors allocated.

Teachers and parents rallied at a budget public hearing in 2014 to demand raises and higher taxes in order to full fund YCSD’s budget request.

School board members are hosting a public forum on the upcoming operating budget Jan. 26, and the superintendent’s proposed budget will be made public after the Feb. 9 work session.

Supervisors and York County School Board members met in early December for preliminary talks on the upcoming budget. The two-board budget work session was held more than a month earlier than usual; in past years, supervisors and school board members began budget discussions in January, which was criticized by citizens, supervisors and school board members alike.

Another joint work session is planned for Feb. 3.

YCSD approved its proposed 10-year Capital Improvement Plan — which outlines major construction projects the school division wishes to undertake in the next fiscal year — in mid-December, with $109,629,000 requested through 2025.

The 10-year projection includes a request of $20.7 million for construction of a new elementary school, which both supervisors and school board members agree is a necessity due to overcapacity issues in Magruder and Yorktown elementary schools.

Concerns over education-related budget cuts at the state level were quelled somewhat when Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced a proposed budget that leaves funding for secondary and higher education intact. 

“More than any other priority, Virginia’s future economic success is staked upon our public education system,” McAuliffe said during the announcement of this year’s state budget proposal. “If we are going to attract the jobs of today and create the jobs of tomorrow, we must constantly improve the quality of the education we offer every Virginia child.”

The governor’s recommendations — which still have to be considered by the House of Delegates and the state Senate — include an increase in state contributions to the school division by more than $1 million. 

The supervisors will discuss the budget during a series of work sessions and public hearings throughout the spring, and the budget is scheduled for adoption May 5.

The public forum will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the York Hall board room.

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