Chesterfield School budget revealed

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Late Tuesday, Chesterfield Schools Superintendent Dr. Marcus Newsome outlined his 532 million dollar budget proposal for school board members.

Classroom sizes won't change, but no teachers will lose their job - and employee pay cuts will be restored.

"This actually puts employee salaries back on a level that it was almost five years ago," said  Frank Cardella.

Frank Cardella with the Chesterfield Education Association says with the difficult choices the district has made in the last few years...including more than 500 job cuts - Newsome's proposal shows promise.

"I don't know I would say the teachers in general are going to be happy with the budget. I think a sense of relief, perhaps, that we've finally bottomed out," he said.

One big change, the district's contribution to the Virginia Retirement System. Starting July 1st, "new" hires will put in 5% of their salary to VRS. Current employees won't be affected.

"If the governor's proposal passes that increase 16.7 million for next year," said David Myers, Chesterfield Schools Finance Executive.

Cardella says the proposed VRS contributions for new hires may not be appealing for people looking to work here down the road.

"If there are other places we can find that money, it would be very beneficial to the recruitment effort," Cardella said.

For the first time in three years, new replacement school buses could be on the road, if the budget passes.

Parents will get to weigh in on the plan February 14th.

"I hope they're going to show some love for teachers on Valentine's Day, that would be appropriate," Cardella added.

The school board is scheduled to vote on the budget February 28th.

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