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Feburary 27, 2014
The Hampton School Board met in a budget retreat on Feb. 26. Superintendent Dr. Linda Shifflette opened the meeting with a review of what would occur during the retreat.
Review of the projected FY15 Revenue Summary, which includes a revision to the Local Composite Index
Review of FY15 Expenditure Pressures-Revised
Recommended Health Insurance Options
Priority Matrix Results
Division Leadership Team recommendations
Discussion and input from Board members
Guidance from Board on budget development
Budget development timeline
Suzy Scott, director of finance, said the most recent information from the House and Senate budgets indicates that there was a correction to our Local Composite Index (LCI). Our LCI went down instead of up. Under the original LCI projection, LCI would have lost $500,000. The new projection indicates we will gain $500,000. She also indicated that our health insurance rates would not increase as much as originally projected.
She said the original estimated shortfall of approximately $10 million had decreased to approximately $7 million. Because of this change, there are a few potential cuts that can be added back to the FY 15 budget. The Division Leadership Team and the School Board will continue to review which projected cuts can be placed back into the budget.
She also shared that the Division is looking at adding a High Deductible Health Plan, which would create some savings for the Division. It is proposed that HCS add the HDHP to our current offerings. Employees may choose to enroll in the PPO, HMO or HDHP. Informational meetings will be held in April.
The FY 15 budget for Funds 51, 60, 65 and 94 will be presented to the Board on March 5. The budget for Fund 50 (operational) will be presented on March 12. Public hearings on the budget will be held March 19, March 26 and April 2. The vote on the final budget is April 2. All meetings are held at 6:30 p.m. at Jones Magnet Middle School.
Feburary 17, 2014
The Hampton School Board met in a budget retreat on Feb. 13 to discuss budget development for fiscal year 2015. Suzy Scott, director of finance, shared information regarding projected revenue and funding for the 2014-15 school year. She said Hampton City Schools would receive about $2.1 million less in revenue between FY14 and FY15. This is due primarily to a decrease in the amount of state funding, a decrease in student enrollment, and an increase in the Local Composite Index. Scott also shared projected expenditure pressures, including:
Hampton Employees Retirement System (HERS) increase of more than $1.3 million
$3.1 million increase due to the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) and Group Life insurance.
A projected 10.4 percent health insurance increase of $1.7 million.
Therefore, at this point, Hampton City Schools is facing a projected budget shortfall of approximately $10 million. Scott then shared several cost-savings items that have been presented in past years, as well as new proposals. The potential reductions follow. Please note that none of these reductions have been finalized at this point.
Eliminate middle school instructional leaders
Eliminate assistant director of human resources
Eliminate PALS instructional assistants
Eliminate middle school teaming
Eliminate PYP, MYP (International Baccalaureate at elementary and middle school)
Eliminate Excel Art
Reduce the number of ESL staff based on Standards of Quality requirements
Retirement incentive savings
Make kindergarten instructional assistants part time
Reduce the number of elementary counselors based on Standards of Quality requirements
Cut local National Board Certified Teaching supplement
Increase class size at grades 4-5
Reduce supplements by 25 percent
Consolidate a school
Share elementary assistant principals at selected schools
Reduce elementary resource teachers to Standards of Quality requirements
Close Moton Early Childhood Center
Maximize efficiency at Bridgeport Academy
Replace one half of registered nurses with licensed professional nurses
Eliminate high school 8 A/B block schedule
Eliminate Performance Learning Center
One day furlough for all employees who work 190 days or more
Reduce PEG (Public Education and Government television) subsidy
Savings from changes in insurance plans to offer a high deductible health plan as a new option
HCS will use the Strategic Plan to rank and evaluate the potential reductions and present to the Board at a budget retreat on Feb. 26. The superintendents’ proposed budget will be presented on March 12.
Information about the high deductible health plan will be provided to employees in upcoming forums.
Budget Message from Superintendent Dr. Linda Shifflette
Over the past few months, we have been keeping you informed about the progress on the FY14 budget. During the process, we proposed a number of cuts to close the budget gap. These cuts were without a doubt the most difficult budgetary decisions we have had to make. Previously, we were able to keep most of the cuts from impacting the classroom; however, this year many of the proposed cuts would have had a direct and negative impact on the classroom.
As you have probably heard by now, the City Council voted Wednesday evening to “protect” and “invest” in Hampton City Schools. We were given $8M to fund our budget gap and an additional $2M to invest in technology.
Many of you may be asking—just what does “protect” mean? All of the cuts proposed earlier are now back in the budget except for:
• Elementary Instructional Leader Supplements
• Change to Sick Leave Policy with regard to payout
The City Council also voted to provide an additional $2M to “invest” in Hampton City Schools’ technology initiative. This $2M will be used for a “One to One Initiative” in Hampton City Schools. While the details are still being formalized, this means that we will be deploying a plan to provide students in specified grades with a technology device (i.e., tablet such as an iPad or the equivalent). This will assist in providing equitable access to instructional content and resources for our students.
We have been given a tremendous vote of confidence by our citizens—and most particularly by our School Board and City Council. It is now up to us to show everyone that this confidence in us is justified.
My sincere thanks to all of you for your patience and support during this budget process. Many of you wrote to City Council and/or the School Board, spoke at School Board and/or City Council meetings, and attended the various community forums, School Board meetings, and City Council meetings. For those who asked questions and provided input, thank you for helping us to refine our decision making.
We had tremendous support from our parents and from community and business leaders. We are fortunate to live in a community where over 90% of those who responded to the community forum polling and to the online survey said that they wanted to “protect AND invest” in Hampton City Schools.
We are also fortunate to live in a city where the City Manager, Mrs. Mary Bunting, was willing to collaborate with us. By presenting a consistent message that spoke to the education of our children and the quality of life in Hampton, we were able to reach out to citizens in an unprecedented manner.
I want to say a special thanks to those who worked behind the scenes—our Budget and Finance Staff—Dr. Vic Hellman, Suzanna Scott, Lisa Deanhofer, and Vizel Townsend. Their work was tireless as we examined scenario after scenario.
Finally, our School Board deserves our gratitude for their willingness to take the bold action of requesting additional funding from our City. While difficult, they made the request and followed through with unwavering support. They were a constant presence as they attended the community forums and City Council meetings; and, most significantly, they stood together as a body speaking with one voice advocating for Hampton City Schools. Our thanks to each of them!
Please let me know if you have any questions--and enjoy your weekend!!