This year’s budget could bring welcome news to employees of Goochland County Schools, including a pay raise of at least 3 percent if the plan is approved.

The pay increase was one of several key items in the budget Goochland County School Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Raley presented to the Goochland County School Board on Jan. 28.

“The initiatives outlined in this proposed budget align with our division’s strategic plan and are aimed at maintaining our position as a model of excellence in the Commonwealth,” said Raley, adding that the plan is aimed at helping the school division “to retain the incredibly talented professionals we currently have and to attract exceptional candidates when vacancies occur.”

The proposed budget includes a total of $824,190 in funding for salary improvement and salary scale adjustments, which would allow for a raise of three percent for all employees who achieve a rating of proficient or better on their end-of-the-year evaluation.

Additionally, Raley explained, the recommended budget includes revisions to the teacher salary scale that improve some existing salary compression. Should the revised salary scale be approved, teachers will transition from the current scale to the new scale and receive a raise ranging from three percent to 4.13 percent depending on their current step placement.

Raley said the school division will also absorb any projected increase in health insurance premiums, meaning no increase in out of pocket health insurance costs for employees who choose the high deductible plan or our $500 deductible plan. The division has also absorbed the full cost of VRS-mandated premium increases.

In all, the school division’s proposed budget for next year includes additional expenditures of $1,217,027, or 3.6 percent, with 71 percent of budgeted expenditures focused on instructional needs and another 7.3 percent on technology.

The proposed increase in funding from the Goochland County Board of Supervisors is $950,000. Total funding from the local government for the fiscal year is up 4 percent, and is at a projected $24,280,000.

“This proposed spending plan for next year provides the resources to support our journey toward continued excellence as we ensure that we are providing all of our students with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities that are so crucial for students to become successful members of a modern global community,” Raley said.

Several public meetings will be taking place in the coming weeks as the School Board and the Board of Supervisors make final budget decisions for next year. We hope that you are able to attend.

Included in the proposed budget are several new positions, including a part-time school counselor and part-time reading specialist at Randolph Elementary School, and a full time, division-wide school social worker.

Increasing staffing in the central office Human Resources Department is a priority this year, as is additional funding for utilities and facility maintenance.

A number of upcoming meetings will offer the chance for residents to learn more about this year’s budget process and provide feedback, including:

n Feb. 11, 6:30 p.m. – Public Hearing on the Budget, Goochland Administration Building, Room 250 – 6:30 p.m.

n Feb. 18, 2 p.m. – County Administrator Presentation of Proposed County Budget, Goochland Administration Building, Room 250

Feb. 25, 5:30 p.m. – School Board Approves 2020-2021 Budget, Goochland County Public Schools Central Office

March 4, 2 p.m.– Presentation of School Board’s Approved Budget to Goochland County Board of Supervisors, Goochland Administration Building, Room 250

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