Financial plan for 2020-2021 includes big wins for Henrico Schools’ students, staff members

Financial plan for 2020-2021 includes big wins for Henrico Schools’ students, staff members
The plan will focus on more job opportunities and support systems available to students and staff members as well as continuing to invest in safe and well-maintained learning spaces.

HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Henrico County Public Schools’ 2020-2021 Recommended Financial Plan will provide new funding and address some major needs of Henrico’s families, teachers and staff members.

The plan will focus on more job opportunities and support systems available to students and staff members as well as continuing to invest in safe and well-maintained learning spaces.

Budget initiatives include:

  • Forty school counselors, nearly doubling the number of counselors at the elementary level in order to address a critical need among students for social and emotional support.
  • Daily elementary teacher planning time, fulfilling a promise to instructors to provide important resources. HCPS continues to add support staff in schools, such as counselors, innovative learning coaches and library assistants so that master schedules can be adjusted to ensure daily planning time.
  • Converting 25 exceptional education instructional assistants from temporary to full-time positions. The change would strengthen the support for students with special needs, give them more continuity in the classroom, and provide valued employees with full-time benefits.
  • A new “career ladder” program, enabling staff members to climb in experience, expertise and pay.
  • Thirty-five full-time substitutes to provide more consistent coverage in schools. All 35 positions would have higher salaries and full-time benefits, to help attract and retain excellent candidates.
  • Thirteen elementary school library assistants, to ensure that elementary library programming offers greater opportunities for students and teachers.
  • Developing a school bus tracking app to allow parents to locate their student’s bus in real-time.
  • An emergency planning and response system are known as “Anonymous Alerts,” and updated registration software for school visitors.

“This financial plan incorporates that input, builds on the progress we’ve made in recent years and continues to focus on the goals in our strategic plan," Amy Cashwell, Henrico County Public Schools Superintendent, said.

A pay increase for HCPS employees is not included but Henrico County will consider compensation increases for both schools and government employees later in the budget process.

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