Pay hike drives request for more local funds

A 5-percent pay hike proposed by Gov. Ralph Northam is driving the $411,545.40 increase in local funding proposed by school officials at a liaison committee meeting Tuesday.

Schools Superintendent Bill Sroufe said the preliminary proposal is otherwise unchanged.
It has not been approved yet, but is under review, by the school board, he said.
The proposed increased local funding is needed to fund a portion of the pay raise, Sroufe said.
If approved, the raise will go into effect July 1, at the beginning of the new fiscal year.
Although Sroufe said he does not anticipate any change in the proposed budget, he also is unable to completely rule it out because the school division’s budget is heavily affected by actions of the General Assembly.
“I don’t think K-12 is going to change a lot” from the current state proposal, he said, adding that he has contacted both State Sen. Bill Stanley, R-Moneta, and Del. Charles Poindexter, R-Glade Hill and “made my point. Both were receptive, but that is only one vote in the House and one vote in the Senate.”
School officials also were asked to present the budget at an upcoming meeting of the Patrick County Board of Supervisors.
The liaison committee includes members and personnel from the county and school board.
County and school officials attended the liaison meeting Tuesday, Sroufe said of elected officials that included Ricky Fulcher, of the Peters Creek District and chairman of the Patrick County Board of Supervisors, and Jane Fulk of the Dan River District; as well as Brandon Simmons, chairman of the Patrick County School Board and of the Dan River District, as well as Ronnie Terry, vice chairman and of the Blue Ridge District.
County employees attending included Tom Rose, county administrator and Geri Hazelwood, assistant county administrator, along with Sroufe and Andrea Cassell, assistant superintendent of instruction.

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