NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Employees across Norfolk Public Schools could be seeing a small rise in their salary after the School Board approved its 2012-2013 budget Wednesday.
According to Norfolk Public Schools, the School Board approved a $299.6 million operating budget, including $6.6 million more in expenses.
The budget proposal, which will be sent to the Norfolk City Council for consideration, also includes a two percent salary increase for employees, though 135 staff positions could be eliminated.
Superintendent Michael Spencer said he expects those cuts could be handled primarily through attrition, meaning retirement.
"This has been another tough and challenging budget year," School Board Chairman Dr. Kirk T. Houston said. "Over the past three years, we have had to negotiate a nearly $60 million deficit in resources due to reductions in revenue or increases in expenditures."
Included in the proposal is a plan to cover a General Assembly-approved change to the Virginia Retirement System as well as a reduction in Federal Impact Aid of about $1.5 million.
In addition, the budget protects the following:
- Employees' pay from higher health insurance premiums and state-mandated increase in retirement contributions.
- Specialty programs at elementary, middle and high schools.
- The full-day preschool program.
- Existing athletics at the middle and high schools.
- Advanced Placement, honors and foreign language offerings.
- Class sizes at their current levels.
- Music and art programs.
- The sixth-grade transition program and its transportation.
"Do we have more work to do? Absolutely," Dr. Houston said. "Is there more efficiency to be found, more analysis of programs and the use of current resources to be performed? Without a doubt. And we have agreed as a board that the budget process must be a 12-month process, and it must be planned and designed around our mission, Achievable Results and other strategic initiatives."
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