The Roanoke County School Board has approved an overall budget of $171,340,570 which includes a general fund budget of $151,586,512 for the 2019-2020 school year. This budget includes an average pay increase of 3.15 percent for school employees. In addition, the pay rate for substitute bus drivers will increase to $16.50 per hour, from $12.50 per hour.
State aid represents 52.6 percent of the general fund budget and increased $2.5 million over the 2019 budget. The majority of this increase is attributed to the compensation supplement approved by the General Assembly, which allows for a compensation supplement for Standards of Quality funded instructional and support positions over the two-year biennium equal to three percent effective July 1, 2019 and an additional two percent effective September 1, 2019. Further, funding provided by the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors increased by $1.6 million, comprising 46.5 percent of the general fund budget.
The school board included in the budget an investment in communication and safety to improve radio communications with emergency responders, through the installation of digital radio bi-directional amplifiers and digital radio annual licenses. The board also increased the amount of funding available for annual maintenance of facilities.
“At the end of the day, our top priority was to our people,” said Roanoke County School Board Chairman Don Butzer. “We have some of the best teachers, nurses, bus drivers, nutrition workers, administrators and staff in the state and we want to make sure we’re compensating them as best as we can,” Butzer said.
“I’m most proud that we are continuing our commitment to our employees,” said Roanoke County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Ken Nicely. “I’d like to thank the School Board and the Board of Supervisors for investing in our staff and helping us attract and retain high-quality employees,” Dr. Nicely said.
By state law, school boards must approve a budget by April 1. The budget will be sent to the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors for approval.