2023 Budget Blog
04/05/22 Budget Blog - Budget Adoption Revision
The 2022-2023 Annual Budget was presented and adopted by the School Board on Tuesday, March 24, 2022.
Additional discussions were held during the April 5, 2022 work session to obtain the School Board's direction on how to implement the pay raises. The board meeting video is available on YouTube (Work Session Video). The updated approved 2022-2023 Budget is available on BoardDocs: Agenda Item 2.02 General Budget and Compensation Discussion.
During these discussions, the School Board amended the 2022-2023 Budget approved on March 24, 2022, for the following changes:
- Increase compensation by $1,109,000 to provide a full 6% raise for all employees. This will be implemented via freezing everyone on their current step and applying a 6% scale shift to both the teacher and non-teacher pay scales. Anyone above the top of their scale will also receive a 6% increase (except for the Superintendent and the School Board). The revised pay plan will be presented at the April 14, 2022 School Board Meeting.
- Reduce the contribution to CMP by $580,143. In prior discussions with the School Board, we hope to build this into the final budget, but if we cannot, we can replenish this item with year-end carryover.
- Reduce the unallocated amounts by $528,857.
It is important to note that the General Assembly reconvened on Monday, April 5, 2022 to continue discussing the state budget. When this is finalized, we will return to this document to make any necessary adjustments to the priority lists. So stay tuned, we are not done yet and there will be more discussions.
03/24/22 Budget Blog - Budget Adoption
The 2022-2023 Annual Budget was presented and adopted by the School Board on Tuesday, March 24, 2022. The board meeting video is available on YouTube (Work Session Video). Materials are available on BoardDocs for each of the approvals that feed into the budget:
Because student fees feed into the Budget and The Code of Virginia requires annual approval of the fees, we bring this schedule for consideration during the budget process. Changes for 2022-2023 include:
- SmartSpot fees will stop July 1, 2022, for all people who do not qualify for the reduced price. This is because Roanoke County Public Schools received a federal grant to extend these services through 2022-2023.
- Breakfast fees increased to $1.50 from $1.35.
- Lunch fees increased to $3.00 for all schools from $2.55 for elementary schools and $2.80 for middle and high schools.
The teacher scale was shifted by 3.5% and the non-teacher scale was shifted by 3.0%. In addition to the scale shifts, employees will receive a one-step, which equates to 1.5% for teachers and 2.0% for non-teachers. This will give all employees on or below the top scale a 5.0% increase.
New positions, along with changes to academic and athletic supplements and stipends can be reviewed in the board report.
Health, Dental, and Vision rates as shared in prior work sessions were approved as they were presented. Please see the board report for schedules.
2022-2023 Annual Budget
The 2022-2023 Annual Budget is presented. Please see the board report for the full schedule (the full funded priority list is on pages 4 and 5). Below is a summary of the fund totals. The General Fund shows an increase of $15.7 million for amounts due from the state ($8.0 million) and from Roanoke County ($7.6 million including CSA). The Grant Fund is down because we included the one-time American Rescue Plan Act ESSER III funds of $4.2 million in the prior year, which is offset by other recurring grant increases. The capital funds are down because 2022-2023 is not a school allocation year, for the $12 million bond allocation in accordance with the County Financing Agreement. In addition in 2021-2022, there was $5.6 included the one-time American Rescue Plan Act ESSER III funds.
It is important to note that the General Assembly has not adopted a final budget. However, school divisions must submit a budget to their governments by April 1. In order to comply with this law, Roanoke County Public Schools proposed a budget based on the House of Delegates' version, which was lower than the Senate version. When the General Assembly does adopt the final budget, we will return to this document to make any necessary adjustments to the priority lists. So stay tuned, we are not done yet and there will be more discussions.
03/15/22 Budget Blog - Update on State and Priority List
The fourth work session for the 2022-2023 Annual Budget was Tuesday, March 15, 2022. We reviewed state revenue, priority lists, and department requests. Materials are available on BoardDocs (Agenda Item 2.01 2022-2023 Budget Work Session #4) The work session video is available on YouTube (Work Session Video).
The House of Delegates approved a budget that was $6,197,758 lower than the Governor's budget, while the Senate's budget was $1,763,177 higher. This is a large gap and, as usual, we will begin to build our budget based on the lower, which is the House Budget. Based on the House budget, the increase in the School Division's operating budget from the 2022 fiscal year would be $5,630,181.
- Compensation - The Governor included funding for a 5% raise effective July 1, 2022, and another 5% raise effective July 1, 2023. To qualify for a prorated portion of the compensation funds, school divisions must provide a minimum of 2.5% raise each year. The House reduced this to a 4% raise effective July 1, 2022, and another 4% raise effective July 1, 2023. The Senate upheld the Governor's recommendation and added a $1,000 bonus in the fiscal year 2022 caboose budget.
- Early Reading Initiative - The Governor expanded this program to include 4th and 5th grade. Both the House and Senate removed this expansion.
- Grocery Tax Hold Harmless - All versions have a reduction in sales tax for the grocery tax reduction, but vary on when it will be implemented. In addition, they all include "hold harmless" funding to replace the amount taken away from public schools.
- School Construction Grants - The Governor included $5.6 million for school construction grants, as did the Senate. The House removed the grant program and introduced a loan rebate program to award rebates of 30% of the principal and interest costs if the Virginia Public School Authority (VPSA) financed the project.
Subsequent to the last work session, the County of Roanoke Staff updated budget revenue estimates and the revenue sharing formula. This increased the amount for the school division by $1.2 million to $5,739,752. In addition, other local revenue changes include $92,040 for non-resident tuition, $25,000 for Medicaid, and a reduction of $13,000 for facility rentals, since the largest churches have outgrown our facilities.
Priority List and Departmental Budget Requests
Included in the presentation are two pages showing the Funding Priority list for the General Fund and other funds. A Red Box around the House indicates the budget on which we will build our 2022-2023 budget until we have a final General Assembly approved budget. It appears as though a 5% raise for all employees is achievable under this scenario. The cost of a 5%, 6%, and 7% raise is provided in three groups: teachers, support staff, and administrators.
In addition, as with every budget year, our directors make recommendations for programs and other items they want to implement. These have not all been incorporated into the priority list. However, some of them have been funded through grants on a short-term basis and they are indicated on the list.
Next Budget Work Session: Although there is one scheduled for March 22, it is not necessary unless new information becomes available. Otherwise, a budget based on the information presented will be recommended on March 24, 2022.
03/01/22 Budget Blog - Local Revenue, Compensation Update, Other Funds
The third work session for the 2022-2023 Annual Budget was Tuesday, March 1, 2022. We reviewed local revenue, compensation updates, and other funds. Materials are available on BoardDocs (Agenda Item 2.01 2022-2023 Budget Work Session #3) The work session video is available on YouTube (Work Session Video).
The County of Roanoke provides the second-largest amount of operating revenue for the division and it is based on a revenue-sharing formula. The first pass of their revenue estimates provides an additional $4,548,666 to the school division for the 2022-2023 Annual Budget.
The School Division participates in a Joint Financing Agreement with the County to fund future debt for construction projects. We currently participate in a 12-12-12 arrangement in which both entities contribute $2.6 million annually to borrow $12 million annually. The schools are allocated two out of three years of borrowing capacity. We recently moved to this level from a 10-10-10 agreement and have a recurring required annual increase of $200,000. The County has proposed increasing this to a 17-17-17 plan for an additional annual incremental increase of $100,000.
The presentation includes background on both the 2016 Evergreen Compensation Study and the 2020 Gallagher Compensation Study. The former study found the division to be 2.1% below the market and we subsequently implemented recommended changes to the pay scales to improve our marketability. The recent study found us to be highly competitive but did offer suggestions for improvements. Unfortunately, the year we were going to implement them, the pandemic hit and stalled our progress.
We also shared the costs of raises for multiple scenarios. For the teachers, we looked at an overall raise of 8%, 10%, and 11.5% (this includes a scale shift plus 1.5% for the step). For the non-teachers, we looked at an overall raise of 4%, 5%, and 7% (this includes a scale shift plus 2% for the step).
Although we did not have the state revenues at the time of the meeting, we did know that both the House and Senate tweaked the Governor's recommendations for raises:
- Governor: Funding for a 5% raise effective July 1, 2022, and another 5% raise effective July 1, 2023. To qualify for a prorated portion of the compensation funds, school divisions must provide a minimum of 2.5% raise each year.
- House: Funding for a 4% raise and 1% bonus effective July 1, 2022, and another 4% raise and 1% bonus effective July 1, 2023. They also included improvements to the SOQ staffing model for Principals, Assistant Principals, and Reading Specialists.
- Senate: Funding for a $1,000 bonus in the current year, a 5% raise effective July 1, 2022, and another 5% raise effective July 1, 2023. They also included reducing the SOQ Support Caps over the next several years.
We reviewed these additional funds:
- Grant Fund - This fund is used to account for transactions related to federal, state, and private grants.
- Nutrition Fund - This fund is used to account for procurement, preparation, and serving of student breakfasts and lunches. Currently, the program is operating under a federal waiver allowing the division to serve 100% of the student meals without charging the student. The waiver ends June 30, 2022, and there has been no word if it will be extended or allowed to expire. There was additional discussion on the continued large number of open positions and possible ways to attract and retain employees, including:
- If the scale is shifted to 5%, the beginning hourly rate on the scale will move to $15.02, which is in alignment with local restaurants.
- Possibly returning the full-time health insurance rates to part-time associates. The nutrition associates are the last group who had them removed in 2014-2015 and have not had them reimplemented.
- Offering a recruitment bonus of $500 after 90 days & a retention bonus of $500 at the end of each semester.
The following internal service funds have been in existence, but not included in the original budget ordinance request. We are asking to include them henceforth.
- Health Fund - This is a self-insured fund used to account for health care costs for employees electing to participate in the Anthem group program. We shared the health insurance rates during the last work session but reviewed them again. We shared the impact on the employee over his/her/their lifetime of subsidizing a lower-cost health insurance premium at the cost of offering a 0.5% raise to their creditable compensation. We also provided the vision insurance rates, which will not change next year.
- Dental Fund - This is an insurance fund used to account for dental care premiums. The proposed insurance rates are as follows:
- Risk Management Fund - This is a self-insured fund used to account for workers’ compensation costs for employees injured on the job.
- OPEB Trust Fund - This fiduciary fund was created in the fiscal year 2012 to account for assets held for and costs of other post-employment benefits (retirees remaining on our health insurance plan and retirees participating in the Employee Extended Work Plan receiving the $2,500 benefit.)
Next Budget Work Session: Since we did not have the VDOE estimates for this meeting, an extra budget meeting will be held on March 15, 2022 at Noon and will include the crossover budget and a full priority list.
02/03/22 Budget Blog - Compensation and Benefits
The second work session discussing the 2022-2023 Annual Budget was Thursday, February 3, 2022. We reviewed compensation and benefits. Please visit BoardDocs to review the materials provided to the school board and watch the meetings for a detailed discussion. Links are provided for your convenience:
The former governor proposed funding for a 5% raise effective July 1, 2022, and another 5% raise effective July 1, 2023. To qualify for a prorated portion of the compensation funds, school divisions must provide a minimum of 2.5% raise each year.
Roanoke County Public Schools have two scales; a teacher scale, and a non-teacher scale.
The school division employs 1183 employees on the teacher scale (this includes teachers, school counselors, and library media specialists).
Costing scenarios provided include:
- It would cost $2.4 million to provide the 5% minimum raise proposed by the former Governor (3.5% scale shift and 1 step).
- It would cost $7.2 million to provide an 11.5% raise (10% scale shift and 1 step).
- It would cost $8.7 million to provide a 13.5% raise (12% scale shift and 1 step).
While it is too early in the budgeting process to determine the level of compensation increase that can and will be adopted, the more aggressive percentages were presented for discussion in view of the need to be competitive with salaries in our area.
The school division employs 1096 employees on the non-teacher scale (this is everyone else, including administrators and support staff).
Costing scenarios provided include:
- It would cost $4.0 million to provide a 3% raise (1% scale shift and 1 step).
- It would cost $4.4 million to provide a 4% raise (2% scale shift and 1 step).
- It would cost $4.8 million to provide a 5% raise (3% scale shift and 1 step).
Approximately $2.9 million of the increase in each scenario directly relates to the 2021-2022 mid-year payscale adjustment.
A large impact on funding this scale is the support cap on SOQ positions. The support cap has been in place since the 2010-2011 budget year. The support cap was a "fix" to help the state reduce its share of the educational expense by arbitrarily reducing the number of SOQ positions funded. The 2022-2023 impact is a loss of funding for 73.17 SOQ positions of $3.3 million. Applied to the LCI, the state would have provided an additional $2.1 million this year.
Stipends and Supplements
All other allowable payments outside of the pay scales are determined by one of the supplementary tables: Academic Stipends, Academic Supplements, or Athletic Stipends. Requested additions to these tables are included in the presentation. On October 5, 2021, the School Board increased substitute pay rates, which are included in the Academic Supplement paytable. Staff recommends continuing these increased rates for the following year.
Roanoke County Public Schools offers a KeyCare 1000 plan through Anthem that is coupled with a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA). Here are the general provisions of the plan:
- Co-insurance: 80% Anthem / 20% Employee
- Deductible: $1,000 Individual / $2,000 Family
- Maximum Out-of-Pocket: $3,500 Individual / $7,000 Family
- Employer Contribution to HRA: $500 Individual / $1,000 Family
- Blue View Vision: $15 copay / 35% off retail frames
- WellDyne Pharmacy: $10/$25/$40 copay
In order to be fiscally responsible, the division is self-insured for its health insurance coverage. This means Anthem bills the division for the 80% claim payment. The division limits payments to large claims by purchasing reinsurance for claim payments higher than $250,000. Calculated premiums pay for claims, administration fees, and fund the on-site health clinic. The proposed 2022-2023 health insurance rates are as follows:
After an employee enrolls in the health insurance plan, she or he may complete the three steps of wellness to be eligible for lower insurance rates, as soon as the reporting can be completed. The wellness initiative is managed through Marathon Health and includes three steps in order to help you understand all the factors and influences on your health:
- Health History and Risk Assessment Questionnaire (HHRA)
- Biometric Health Screening (Due to limited capacity in the clinic to accommodate social distancing, this is waived through June 30, 2023)
- Comprehensive Health Review (CHR) is a face-to-face (on-site or virtual) visit with the Marathon Health provider to review results from the HHRA and Biometric Health Screening and to set goals for improved health.
Employee Extended Work Plan
The division manages a retirement plan under policy 5.48 whereby employees may retire under VRS and over the following 5 years, return to work 80% of the days of their final contract at their final contract daily rate of pay. Under the plan, employees may elect to remain on the health insurance plan and receive $2500 towards the premiums. Each year, some employees come off the plan while others join it. For 2022-2023 there are approximately 20 more coming onto the plan than coming off, which will require an additional $115,000.
Next Budget Work Session: March 1, 2022, Crossover Update and Department Budgets
01/04/22 Budget Blog - Governor's Budget and Replacement Plans
The first work session discussing the 2022-2023 Annual Budget was Tuesday, January 4, 2022. We reviewed budget development, student enrollment, the Governor's Budget, replacement plans, and budget priorities. Please visit BoardDocs to review the materials provided to the school board and watch the meetings for a detailed discussion. Links are provided for your convenience:
Finance rolled out a budget training program and summarized the information included in the first video, Budgeting 101.
Projecting student enrollment is important because most of the state revenue is based on our March 31 ADM. If we estimate ADM too low, we miss the opportunity to spend the funds in a purposeful and meaningful manner. However, if we estimate ADM too high, we cannot afford our planned spending. The official March 31, 2021 ADM was 13,184, a reduction of 2.89% from the prior year. In the current year, enrollment appears to be on the rise with the December enrollment at 13,253. Staff used grade progression to project an enrollment of 13,140 for the 2022-2023 Annual Budget.
This is the first year of the Governor's biennium budget. Several key initiatives include:
- Funding for a 5% raise effective July 1, 2022 and another 5% raise effective July 1, 2023. To qualify for a prorated portion of the compensation funds, school divisions must provide a minimum of 2.5% raise each year. As usual, the state funding will not cover all that we need. Not only is the funding reduced by the local composite index (an amount the state says the County must fund) but it is also subjected to the support cap and SOQ position limits.
- Virginia Retirement System rates will remain unchanged for the biennium.
- At-Risk funding will increase significantly.
- Early Reading Intervention is expanded from K-3 to K-5 and will provide a significant increase in funding.
- Rebenchmark Hold Harmless funding will ensure that factors from the rebenchmarking process (including enrollment declines during the COVID-19 health pandemic period) do not negatively impact school divisions. This will replace the no-loss funding included in prior budgets.
- Grocery Tax Hold Harmless funding to offset the loss in sales tax revenue upon the elimination of the state grocery tax-effective Jany 1, 2023.
- One-time school construction grant funding of $5,550,340.
The Governor's Budget is the first step of this process. The General Assembly convenes on January 12, 2022, at which time the House of Delegates and Senate will develop their own budgets to be exchanged on February 21, 2022, at the crossover (the midpoint of the session).
The replacement schedules lay out future spending forecasts to methodically plan for future funding. This allows the School Division to set aside funds at a steady level rate to fund periodic large dollar needs, rather than face large fluctuations in individual years.
- Textbook Adoption Plan - A 7-year plan addressing the need to replace textbooks and other electronic resources for the classroom following VDOE guidelines. This will ensure classroom materials remain current and relevant.
- Fleet Replacement Plan - A 15-year plan addressing the need to replace school buses and other vehicles on a useful life schedule. This will ensure the fleet does not age to a point where the cost to maintain the fleet exceeds the replacement cost of the fleet vehicles.
- Technology Replacement Plan - A 6-year plan addressing the need to continually replace technology infrastructure and equipment that require a significant amount of resources. This will help avoid costly service outages and keep the School Division up to date with technology needs.
- Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) - A planning tool used to identify funding and allocate resources for large ongoing capital needs exclusive of large routine maintenance needs. Projects on the CIP are typically greater than $500,000 in value and may be funded by cash or by the sale of bonds.
- Capital Maintenance Plan (CMP) - A 10-year plan for preventative maintenance projects to maintain the condition and longevity of school-owned buildings. This will ensure we keep the buildings in good shape for longer life.
We have begun to accumulate budget priorities. The list includes:
- Transfers to fund replacement plans, which were mostly removed from the 2020-2021 baseline budget and not able to be returned in 2021-2022.
- Costs staff was asked to fund during the year but are not a part of the original budget. All of these have been discussed during previous work sessions and/or board meetings.
- A reiteration of unfunded requests from the 2021-2022 budget process.
Next Budget Work Session: February 3, 2022 Compensation and Benefits (This is a change from the original calendar)
12/09/21 Budget Blog - 2021-2022 Midyear Pay Scale Adjustment & Intro to Budgeting
2021-2022 Mid-year Budget Adjustment
During tonight's School Board meeting, the School Board approved a 2021-2022 Mid-Year Budget Adjustment as shown below.
Revenue - Sales Tax is trending approximately $2.4 million over the budget and 7.3% over the prior year actuals. This level of increase is consistent with what the Commonwealth is seeing as well. To be conservative, we recommend increasing the budget by $1 million. In addition, we are seeing monthly enrollment levels between 131 and 184 over the budget. We estimate the March 31 Average Daily Membership (which sets our funding levels) to be 153 students over the budget. We recommend increasing the budget by $845,871.
Expenditures - Two large issues required a review for possible mid-year salary adjustments: (1) the October 5, 2021 approval of the IA sub rate, and (2) the high level of open school nutrition positions resulting in a low level of fully-staffed kitchens. The Human Resources Department reviewed the pay plan and the types of adjustments needed to make these positions more attractive. To maintain the integrity of the pay plan itself, these positions could not be analyzed in isolation, so other positions in the same grade or that were relatable were analyzed as well. Below are the exact positions included in this salary adjustment. We recommend an appropriation of $963,660 for the salary adjustments. We recommend the remaining amount of $882,211 is appropriated for other necessary uses.
Please visit BoardDocs to review the materials provided to the school board and watch the meetings for a detailed discussion. Links are provided for your convenience:
2022-2023 Annual Budget Update
We have begun the 2022-2023 Annual Budget process. As we move through the budget process, we will create quick tutorials of how the budget is developed. Our first video is Budgeting 101: Introduction to School Budgeting. The first step of planning involves creating a budget calendar. We presented the 2022-2023 Budget Calendar to the School Board on October 14 and it was approved on October 28.
A hot topic this year will be the Governor's announcement for a 10% teacher raise in the biennium. This is the initial proposal from the outgoing Governor, however, we may see a change with the shift of the incoming Governor and the General Assembly. Also, we do not know what the fine print behind this headline will look like but we do know State funding levels will have limits and we will have to use local funds to make up the difference if we can.
Our first Work Session will be January 4, 2022, and will include ADM, Governor's Budget, Replacement Funds and 2022-2033 CIP draft.