Dinwiddie Schools begins annual budget process

By: Meredith Baker | Email: Click Here
Posted: Jan. 27, 2018 | 2:05 p.m. 

DINWIDDIE – Dinwiddie County Public Schools has begun the process of creating a budget for Fiscal Year 2019. Director of Finance Christie Fleming presented an update to the school board at the January meeting on some of the key things the division is looking at in the early stage of the budget process, including revenue projections based on the governor’s introduced budget, enrollment projections, and potential expenditures for compensation.

Fleming said that it will cost approximately $253,000 to allow teachers to move up a step on the teacher salary scale, but the division will also be looking at the possibility of raising the entire scale so that the starting salary will be higher. Currently, the starting salary for teachers in Dinwiddie County is $42,500, which is more than the starting salaries in Charles City County, Amelia, New Kent, Nottoway, Prince George, and Sussex, but less than the starting salaries in Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Goochland, Petersburg, Hanover, Chesterfield, Richmond, Henrico, Powhatan, and Surry.

“We’ve got to be competitive,” Fleming said. “We definitely think we need to increase the starting salary. We don’t want to remain where we are. As we move through this budget process, we’re going to have to make some decisions about what that looks like and how it affects our budget.”

The division is also looking at the possibility of trying to attract teachers by increasing the supplements for post-bachelor’s degrees or giving additional signing bonuses for new teachers.

Board members and school personnel have also begun discussing how many students they should plan for in the FY2019 budget. The current year’s budget was based on an average daily membership of 4,290 students, but the actual average daily membership is projected to be about 4,250, following a trend in recent years of declining enrollment. Fleming recommended starting the budget process with 4,250 as the anticipated enrollment.

“It is certainly a number, though, that we can come back and adjust as needed,” Fleming said.

State funding is based in part on average daily membership, but Fleming said that even based on expected enrollment of 4,250, the governor’s proposed budget shows the division receiving an increase of about $610,000 in state funding for Fiscal Year 2019, though the actual amount of funding will depend on what the final state budget looks like.

Copyright 2018 by Womack Publishing
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