BV Schools ‘Tighten Our Belts’

Budget Plan Calls For New Teaching Posts

The Buena Vista School Board approved a $11.2 million proposed budget for FY22 Thursday, March 25, reflecting a $300,000 drop from last year’s budget.

“We had to tighten our belts,” Superintendent John Keeler told The News-Gazette. Keeler said last year’s budget experienced cuts in state and local funding totaling over $400,000, leading the Board to approve some reductions for the upcoming school year.

The FY22 operating budget totals $11,269,959. In addi tion to the operation budget, the Board approved a food service budget of $441,005, bringing the combined total to $11,683,628.

According to Keeler, some positions were consolidated to identify savings within staffing, as well as cuts made to some part-time positions. A number of employees in the division retired over the last year, Keeler said, creating savings in the process of hiring their replacements.

A 5 percent raise for all BVCPS employees is reflected in this year’s budget as a $337,000 item per the state’s mandate for K-12 schools to implement raises.

“Last year we weren’t able to get anything at all,” Keeler said, “so we’re pleased the General Assembly made this a priority.”

A total of $200,000 is also allotted in the new budget for five additional teaching positions in various grade levels. Also, $12,500 is allotted to programs BVCPS sought to implement last year; dance, Licensed Practical Nurse training and an athletic training program.

Through grant funding, BVCPS will seek to implement “student success coaches” at the elementary, middle and high school levels as a two-year program for part-time employees. The program will address students in “gap groups,” Keeler explained, who may have suffered academically as a result of learning loss due to the pandemic.

The News-Gazette

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