Supervisors resolution outlines school funding for 2019-20

RESOLUTION OF THE PULASKI COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS APPROPRIATING PULASKI COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOL FUNDS AND ESTABLISHING GENERAL FISCAL POLICY FOR THE PERIOD OF JULY 1, 2019 THROUGH JUNE 30, 2020

WHEREAS, it is the continuing commitment of the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors to support the public education system of Pulaski County for the good of the community and our citizens, and to collaboratively foster a 21st Century learning environment worthy of our students; and,

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors places the highest value on our students, our teachers, our business community and our taxpayers and demonstrates such value through the careful prioritization of limited resources toward investments that yield the greatest return and highest benefit for each of these segments; and,

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors concurs with many of the Pulaski County School Board’s stated FY 19-20 budget priorities, but does not fully agree with the order of priority in which they were presented; and,

WHEREAS, the Board feels student safety and school security should be the school board’s #1 priority and not their #4 stated priority; and,

WHEREAS, it is common practice of businesses as well as in our own personal finances, to budget for and fund our top priorities first and to do so in the same order in which those priorities are listed of importance and value; and, 

WHEREAS, the practices of funding the priorities of school systems should in principle be no different than that of the private sector, successful divisions of the public sector or found within the households of our taxpayers; and,

WHEREAS, it is the intent of the Board of Supervisors to again locally fund the Pulaski County Public School System at a historic amount that is nearly double the state’s Required Local Effort and which will equate to the tenth straight year of increased annual local funding; and, 

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors chooses to appropriate another increase in local funding in a year in which the amount of the School Board’s annual debt service that is paid by our county taxpayers exceeds $6,000,000.00; and,

WHEREAS, it has been identified through correspondence prepared by and received from the school board, enumerated within their presented FY 19-20 Budget draft and further articulated by dialogue conducted by school board members and staff within public meetings, that the school board’s top 5 stated priorities, having a cost of $1,570,313.00, have not effectively been prioritized for funding within their proposed $47,908,422.00 draft budget; and,

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors wishes to oblige the school board in funding their top stated priorities and further wishes to assist in the prioritization of student safety, school security and salary raises for our fine teachers, faculty, staff and bus drivers; and,

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors hopes and expects their efforts to assist the school board with their budget challenges will assist with teacher retention, talent recruitment and enhance instruction for our students; and,

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors optimistically considers the fiscal challenges facing the school board next Fiscal Year, due to the loss of student enrollment and reduction in their ADM, to be only a short-term challenge, as the school board has publically stated the taxpayers’ investment in the new $48,000,000.00 Pulaski County Middle School will help solve the five consecutive year student enrollment decline since 2013 as well as yield an estimated yearly savings of more than $500,000.00 in personnel reductions alone from the efficiencies of consolidation; and,

WHEREAS, if student enrollment numbers were to return to the level of 4,470 as benchmarked in 2013, then the school system could enjoy additional state funding of approximately $3,000,000.00 and this additional state funding would ease the burden of our county taxpayers to make up this loss in revenue to the school system; and,

WHEREAS, we believe any approach using negativity when requesting more local funding from the taxpayers of Pulaski County is ultimately detrimental to the perceptions, morale confidence, and pride of our exceptional students, our extraordinary teachers and our excellent school system, and only compounds the continuation of enrollment loss and fiscal challenges that our school system has recently experienced; and conversely, employing positivity and the celebrating or our student and teacher successes, along with making other strategic investments in our youth and enhancement in quality of life assets, will both directly and indirectly help to reverse these trends going forward; and,

WHEREAS, the students, parents, teachers and taxpayers deserve their public school system to be devoid of any and all politics and personal interests and for our students to always be put first in our actions, not just with our words for the benefit of all those in the county.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors does hereby look to capture the full investment in public education, draw down the maximum amount of state funding for teacher raises and make the following appropriations for educational purposes to the Pulaski County School Board for the preparation of their Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Budget as follows:

The Required Local Effort of:

$8,455,375.00 – ADM of 3,792

+

Funding above the Required Local Effort for Top Funding Priorities in the amount of:

$300,000.00 – for Five (5) New School Resource Officers in our Elementary Schools

$837,464.00 – for 3% Salary Increases and Steps for Teachers

$90,943.00   – for New Bus Driver Salary Scale and Salary Adjustments

$311,150.00 – for 3% Increase for All Other Support Staff

+

Additional Funding above the Required Local Effort for items such as Compensation Supplements, At-Risk Funding, Virginia Preschool Initiative, K-3 Class Size Reduction and all other Requirements:

$5,512,202.00 – to be utilized at the discretion and prioritization of the school board

$100,000.00 – for the Access to Community College Education (ACCE) Program

$195,320.00 – for Reimbursement of Recovered Costs

=

For a Total of:  $15,802,454.00 – Local Funding for Administration, Attendance & Health, Pupil

Transportation, Operations and Maintenance and Technology; and,

+

$6,044,601.00 – in Local Funding for Debt Service for school board Facilities

=

For a Total of: $21,847,055.00 – in Local Funding to the Pulaski County School Board

+

State Funding of:

$26,414,249.00

+

Federal Funding of:

$4,428,762.00

+

Other Funds of:

$817,037.00

=

For a Total of   $53,507,103.00 categorically approved for the FY 19-20 Pulaski County School Board Budget.

            (*Please note the county is projected to collect $19,740,000 in Real Estate Taxes for Fiscal Year 19-20.  Pulaski County Taxpayers are investing 111% of its Real Estate Tax Revenues to fund the Pulaski County School Board.  It would take an $.08 (11%) Real Estate Tax Increase for the County’s Real Estate Revenues to solely fund the Pulaski County School System.)

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors supports the school board entering into a Performance Based Contract financing approach for the school board’s #1 stated capital project priority of converting the Career and Technical Education Center from electric to natural gas, using the utility cost savings to service the contract and effectively saving the school board, the County and its taxpayers an estimated $975,000.00 in upfront capital outlay and positioning the school board to then utilize their remaining capital reserve for priority projects such as security upgrades identified within the performed security audits and the installation of new exterior doors and hardware at the Pulaski County High School and Dublin Elementary School, as well as the partial roof replacement at the Pulaski County High School.  This is with the understanding the school board has notified the Board of Supervisors that they cannot repair or install any school roofs within the next Fiscal Year due to time constraints; however, the Board of Supervisors encourages the school board to prioritize school security and the repair and replacement of school roofs in their capital priorities and requests the school board to diligently pursue the prudent gathering of firm cost estimates for future school roof repair projects.

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors, acknowledging the benefits of a performance based contracting approach to the school board’s #1 stated capital project  priority, as well as the capital outlay monies it freed up for other school board priority projects, shall allow the school board to utilize the estimated amount of up to $310,000.00 that will be carried over into FY 19-20 for the purpose of purchasing three (3) new school buses which will benefit both the students and the school system, bringing the local funding grand total for the FY 19-20 school board appropriation up to $22,157,055.00 and the school board’s grand total for FY 19-20 up to $53,817,103.00

THEREFORE BE IT LASTLY RESOLVED, the Board of Supervisors values the education of our students, supports our teachers and respects our taxpayers through this substantial yet responsible investment in education and grants the Pulaski County School Board the liberty to make inter-functional transfers, but maintains the power to make categorical transfers shall rest with the Board of Supervisors with the further understanding all purchases and expenditures shall be in accordance and compliance with the laws of Virginia. 

Adopted this 29th day of April 2019, in Pulaski County, Virginia.

  

 Howard A. McCready, Chair

Pulaski County Board of Supervisors

Jonathan D. Sweet, County Administrator

County of Pulaski, Virginia

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