PULASKI, Va. – The Pulaski County School Board approved its final budget for the 2022-2023 school year at a special called meeting on Wednesday.
The approved budget’s changes included
- A five percent increase plus a step raise for all teachers
- A five percent raise for all support staff
- An updated salary scale for custodians and bus drivers
- Converted all paraprofessionals to a full-time salary scale
- The addition of an elementary gifted education teacher
- The addition of an additional teacher at Snowville Elementary School to assist with increased enrollment
- The funds to begin a replacement cycle for Chromebooks
“We are extremely pleased with the additional state funding that was provided in this year’s budget and excited that we are able to offer a minimum of a five percent salary increase to all employees” stated Dr. Kevin Siers, Pulaski County Public Schools Superintendent. “The increases for our teachers and staff were certainly well deserved after all that they’ve worked through during the past few years.”
But some of the School Board’s objectives were not funded in the final budget.
The Pulaski County School Board initially requested an additional $1.6 million from the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors to address all of their budget objectives but then reduced that request to $914,294 after the final state budget was approved.
The Board of Supervisors appropriated an additional $10,000 at its meeting on Monday.
The Pulaski County Board of Supervisors and School Board entered into an agreement two years ago that allows retired debt service from school construction projects to be rolled into the school division’s capital funds account and used for upcoming school construction projects.
This amounted to over $400,000 of funds in the fiscal year 2022 that can go toward building projects such as school security upgrades.
Those funds should increase for the fiscal year 2023 with additional revenue generated by the cigarette tax.
“The agreement between our two Boards to allow retired debt service to go toward future construction and capital projects is a great plan that allows us to take a preventative approach to facility maintenance instead of our previous system of having to ask for funds in reaction to system failures or to deal with deteriorating buildings. There’s really nothing like it in place for any other school division in our region and we greatly appreciate the Board of Supervisors and county administrator for allowing these funds to remain with our schools” stated Dr. Siers. “The money provided this year can be added to the additional two million dollars of state money and will allow us to make significant progress with our safety and security upgrades.”
Pulaski County Public Schools has already issued teaching contracts for the upcoming school year and will now move forward with sending letters of appointment for all support staff with updated salary information.