While the General Assembly has been passed a stopgap’skinny’ budget, lawmakers have agreed to appropriate millions to Virginia’s public schools to address a $201 million error–the spending plan includes $132.7 million for the current school year and $125.8 million for the next year.
Schools across the state that used the Department of Education’s basic aid calculation tool to derive budgets, find themselves in the red due to an error in the tool; it did not account for a provision to hold localities harmless from Virginia’s elimination of the state portion of the grocery tax.
As a result, there is a statewide shortfall of about $201 million.
The Northampton schools budget for the fiscal year 2024 will have a funding shortfall of nearly $1.2 million.
The proposed budget includes 7% teacher raises: a 5.75% raise plus a step raise of 1.25% to 1.5%. The funding is based on a projected average daily roll of 1,300 students.
The adjusted budget request will be presented to the Board of Supervisors on April 11.
Virginia expects an estimated $3.6 billion in excess revenue during the fiscal year.
Del. Marcus Simon, D-Fairfax, told Virginia Mercury, “I wish the Department of Ed had gotten this right,” Simon said, referring to the accidental funding shortfall. “I wish we could’ve kept working towards the priorities that we have, and I trust … that we still will keep working on getting through the impasse because there’s a lot of money that’s at stake here: money for our education, money for teacher pay raises, money for public employee raises, huge amounts of money for mental health that we all support and we can’t abandon that.”