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School proposal seeks $663,499 in additional local operational funds

by Larry Chowning

Four citizens attended the Middlesex County School Board’s public hearing on a proposed FY20 $19,834,452 school budget Monday at the historic county courthouse in Saluda.

School superintendent Dr. Peter Gretz reported that with recent developments in the Virginia General Assembly, Middlesex schools will be receiving less than anticipated from state aid. He speculated that revenues to schools from the state will be down $17,000-$19,000 than were previously anticipated. 

Dr. Gretz had some good news in that the school’s health insurance policy for staff members has been renewed and premiums will decrease 5% from current levels. “This is very good news and we were not anticipating this,” he said. “Over the past few years health insurance costs have been rising expeditiously.”

Two citizens spoke at the meeting. Robert Jackson of Urbanna questioned whether the school system needed to expend $68,340 on a second Instructional Technology Resource Teacher (ITRT). The school system hired one last year. “Do we really need two positions?” asked Jackson. “How do you justify hiring a second teacher when you just hired one last year?”

Although it was not discussed at the public hearing, Dr. Gretz told supervisors at a joint budget meeting two weeks ago that most all schools in the region have more than one ITRT—and one is just not enough to serve the entire school system.

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newsstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 02.28.2019

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