Henrico County Public Schools’ approved budget for next year does not include raises for all its teachers, but it’s possible that might change within a few weeks.
One month after Superintendent Amy Cashwell presented her $505.5 million general fund budget proposal for next year, the Henrico School Board on Thursday voted unanimously to approve an unchanged version of her plan.
The budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 is a $20.4 million — or 4.2 percent — increase over the current year’s general fund budget.
About half of the proposed school budget increase will go toward hiring about 150 teachers and employees, 44 of whom have already been hired following a midyear amendment to this year’s budget.
School officials said the county government will ultimately make the call on whether every teacher will see a raise because all county employees fall under a unified pay plan.
“The state just adopted their budget Sunday, so the county wants to see all of the revenue [estimates] before they make a decision on pay raises,” said Assistant Superintendent Chris Sorensen. “Everyone gets the same pay raise.”
Schools spokesman Andy Jenks said: “It would be premature for us to put a raise in the budget before the Board of Supervisors does that for all employees.”
Currently, only some teachers are set to get raises — the budget includes $3.8 million to address salary compression.
Salary compression occurs when the entry-level pay for new staff members becomes comparable to that of more experienced employees, which can lead to poor morale and turnover.
According to a presentation given by county officials in December, about one-third of the school district’s 6,700 employees will see a bump in their pay.
The money for those raises was included in the school budget because the county has already decided that it also will allocate funding to address salary compression among county government employees.
Under the school system’s financial plan, the county will contribute $210.9 million to schools. Sorensen said that number would likely increase if the county government chooses to give pay raises to all its employees.
The general fund budget shows $263.8 million from the state, but Sorensen said there could be a $1.8 million shortfall because of changes the General Assembly made to Gov. Ralph Northam’s proposed state budget.
County Manager John Vithoulkas is expected to present his budget proposal to the Board of Supervisors later this month. That budget will incorporate the schools funding plan.
Earlier during Thursday’s meeting, the School Board approved conceptual designs for the new J.R. Tucker and Highland Springs high schools.