The PWCS budget for next school year is moving closer to approval.
At their March 8 mark-up session, School Board members cast a straw vote supporting an enhanced version of the Superintendent’s recently amended budget proposal.
On March 7, Dr. Walts revised his original proposal to include changes advocated by many teachers, staff, and School Board members. These important changes remain central to the budget plan that is advancing to a final School Board vote:
- Replace the previous 2% across-the-board pay adjustment for all staff, with a one-step advancement on the pay scale for all employees. Step adjustments result in an average 2.8% employee pay increase, but individual increases vary;
- Eliminates the lowest level of the current pay scale for new teachers and classified employees, effectively boosting starting pay;
- Adds a new top step to the pay scale, allowing those already at the top of their grade to benefit from the new step increase;
- Invests $500,000 in newly announced federal funding in professional development and Professional Learning Communities training for teachers; and
- Earmarks nearly $190,000 toward the future purchase of a badly needed human resources tracking system.
At the mark-up session, School Board members built on the Superintendent’s revised proposal by selecting from the PWCS list of Critical Unmet Needs to be funded, including:
- The Graduation Summer Academy;
- Adding autism position;
- Hiring four new school nurses;
- Expanding the translation of school records; and
- Adding four new administrative interns to help elementary schools close the student performance gap.
The School Board is scheduled to vote on and adopt their “Advertised Budget” and the Capital Improvements Program (CIP) at their meeting on March 15. The vote will follow an official public hearing on the budget proposal, at which community members can express their views. Both sessions will take place in the School Board meeting room at the Kelly Leadership Center. The public hearing begins at 7 p.m.
The School Board’s Advertised Budget will be presented to the Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) on March 28. The plan is dependent on the full funding anticipated from the county.
The BOCS meets to discuss the School Board’s budget and related funding issues on March 28, April 4, and April 11 at the McCourt Building. Community members can speak on issues of concern at BOCS meetings.