Fredericksburg City School Board approves proposed 2024-25 budget

by | Mar 29, 2024 | ALLFFP, Fredericksburg, Schools & Education

Back on March 4, the Fredericksburg City School Board delayed its vote on Superintendent Marci Catlett’s proposed Fiscal Year 2024-25 budget, which featured unfunded needs totaling $4.6 million at the time. 

Three weeks later, on March 25, the Virginia Department of Education released a new revenue calculation tool that projects an additional $1.683 million in state funding for city schools.  

“As a result of additional time afforded, [City Schools] Chief Financial Officer [Jennifer] Brody and staff were able to acquire needed info from Virginia General Assembly, the Virginia Department of Education and city government to assist us in finalizing the budget,” Catlett said at Friday’s special school board meeting.  

Armed with updated numbers, the school board voted unanimously to approve a revised budget totaling $59 million — with a $4.887 million gap to be filled with proposed city funding of $3.204 million, plus the increased state funding of $1.683 million.

The additional state revenue will take the form of a 3% salary increase for all school staff (instead of a previously considered 1% bonus), additional at-risk funding, tiered English Language Learner funding and increased grocery and sales tax revenue projections, Catlett said.  

The motion passed as a roll call vote with little discussion.

“I hope we’ll be able to acquire more funding from the state,” board member Kathleen Pomeroy said. “I do think it’s important to show the public what our needs are and to lay it all out there.” 

Board member Matt Rowe said he was “pleasantly surprised” that the school division was able to receive updated figures from the General Assembly and Department of Education.

“I do appreciate that we were able to get a best ‘guesstimate’ on state funding so that when we do talk to the city, we have a better idea what we’re actually asking for,” Rowe said.

School board members Jennifer Boyd and Malvina Rollins Kay attended and voted remotely, an arrangement approved by a motion at the start of the meeting, which took less than 20 minutes.  

The school board and Fredericksburg City Council will hold a joint work session April 2 at 6 p.m. to discuss the budget.  

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