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School board approves 2021-2022 budget

The Roanoke County School Board has approved the 2021-2022 general fund budget of $156,382,733, which is an increase of more than $6 million compared to the final revised 2020-2021 school budget.  Combined with seven other specific purpose funds, the overall approved budget is $209,224,890.

As part of this budget, all employees will receive the remaining portion of a five-percent raise through scale shifts, step increases and other adjustments as a result of a compensation study conducted last year.  A portion of that five-percent raise was provided earlier this year.  In addition, bus drivers and bus aides will have the option to receive full-time health benefits, starting in July.

“This time last year, we approved a budget that we had to turn right around and drastically cut due to the emergence of the pandemic,” said Don Butzer, chairman of the Roanoke County School Board.  “As a result, we had to put raises and many other things on hold.  Today, I’m very pleased that we’re able to not only provide significant raises for all our employees, we also are able to restore much of the funding that had been cut last year,” Mr. Butzer added.

As part of this budget, the school system is taking advantage of additional federal funding provided through the American Rescue Plan Act and Virginia’s ARPA Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relive (ESSER) III award.  These funds, along with ESSER I and II funds, are being used to continue COVID-19 safety improvements throughout the schools such as installing touchless sinks and paper towel dispensers, HVAC improvements and other materials.  These funds also will facilitate an expansion of summer school opportunities at the elementary and secondary school levels including transportation options, expand special education support services and expand school counseling support services.