It is imperative that Augusta County Schools meet three goals for the upcoming school year. They must be initiated to improve our students’ skills as they grow and prepare to earn a wage when they become adults. Accomplishing these goals will help every child regardless of his or her path after graduation. The district needs to continue the conversion to a digital platform in K-12 classrooms at an estimated cost of $1 million, implement the second- year of the five-year Salary Improvement Plan – at an estimated cost of $ 2.7 million; and maintain current instruction programming with consideration given to reinstating remedial programs that were reduced in past budgets at a proposed cost of $372,678.
Each year, the School Board is faced with the rising cost of retirement system contributions and health insurance premiums. These are costs over which we have very little control. For next year, the increase in these two items alone will cost the school division an estimated $2.8 million. New revenue generated by the Commonwealth of Virginia coupled with $993,000 of new growth money from Augusta County will not cover these increases. When everything is considered, we find ourselves looking at a $3.9 million deficit. So where do we turn for additional new reoccurring revenue?