Chesterfield Superintendent announces budget

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - No teacher job losses and employee pay cuts will be restored. That's part of the $532 million school budget unveiled in Chesterfield County this afternoon.

Superintendent Dr. Marcus Newsome said while the recession has had a harsh impact in Chesterfield in years past, he's optimistic about what lies ahead for the district as other systems in Central Virginia struggle with difficult choices.

Optimism in difficult economic times as Chesterfield Schools Superintendent Dr. Marcus Newsome outlines his budget proposal.

"The budget I'll be presenting to the board will anticipate about $10 million new dollars in revenue for the school division," said Newsome.

One big change: the district's contribution to the Virginia Retirement System.

Starting July 1st, new hires will put in five percent of their salary to VRS.

"If the governor's proposal passes that increase $16.7 million for next year," said David Myers, the district's Assistant Superintendent for business and finance.

The proposal calls for the restoration of last year's 2 to 3 percent employee pay cuts.

"That's a net adjustment for us of 1 million dollars," said Myers.

Newsome said the recession has had a harsh impact on school district's throughout the country, including here in Chesterfield.

"It has resulted in larger class sizes, lower salaries, and fewer courses offered to our students," said Newsome.

But Newsome said this may be the first school district in the region to come out of the economic hardship.

There will be some cuts to central office funding and one position. But no reductions in teachers.

For the first time in three years, a proposal to purchase replacement school busses.

"We're pleased with the position we're in. We're not home. We're not done yet, but we're pleased with where we are," said Myers.

Newsome will present his budget to the board tonight. You can voice your opinion on the proposed budget during a public hearing February 14th. The school board is expected to vote on it at its February 28th meeting.

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