• City of Norfolk School Board Adopts FY2021-22 Budget

    In a meeting held Wednesday, May 19, 2021, the City of Norfolk School Board adopted a $468.41 million operating budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year. This action followed Norfolk City Council’s May 11, 2021, approval of its municipal budget which includes funding for schools.

    The newly adopted budget provides $5.57 million more than the budget request the School Board originally submitted to City Council in March. This increase is the result of: 1) the General Assembly adopting a biennial budget that contains more funding for public education than what was originally included in the Governor’s proposal and 2) a $374,450 increase in city funding.

    As a result of this changing financial scenario, the School Board needed to revise its original budget request. Superintendent Dr. Sharon I. Byrdsong recommended the following budget amendments that were approved by the School Board:

    • Increase starting pay for teachers from $47,000 to $47,200;
    • Increase the proposed salaries for teachers in a manner that will move the average pay raise from 5.1 percent to 6.1 percent;
    • Improve the planned raises for classified staff on an average of 6 percent rather than the earlier projection of a 5 percent average;
    • Improve the planned raises for administrators on an average of 4 percent; the original recommendation was an average of 3 percent;
    • Add funds for stipends for extracurricular/academic co-curricular activities;
    • Add funds for stipends for identified VHSL and middle school activities;
    • Increase the annual budget for operations and maintenance;
    • Increase the budgeted amount for debt service;
    • Move two teacher positions and two assistant positions from a federal grant into the operating budget;
    • Move funding for educational planning services from the capital budget to the operating budget;
    • Move the planned feasibility study for Booker T. Washington High School from the capital budget to the operating budget; and
    • Provide funding for the replacement of telephone systems at 11 schools.

    It is important to note the FY2021-22 budget will also provide for additional supports for schools and students. These include additional staff and/or material resources to improve reading and mathematics instruction, gifted education, English language learner instruction, special education services, foreign/world language instruction, student wellness, student attendance support, extended day and summer school programs, and programs to address the social-emotional needs of students, to name a few. The budget also includes improved funding for the professional development of teachers, technology resources for students, technology infrastructure, and personal protective equipment.

    In other financial action, the School Board approved Dr. Byrdsong’s recommendation to use $4.8 million in year-end reversion funds to provide $1,000 bonuses in June for teachers, full-time, contracted school-based staff, and other identified employees. This decision is in recognition of employees’ extraordinary efforts to continue student instruction in the midst of a pandemic. Employees slated to receive the bonus are as follows:

     Full-time, contracted school-based personnel to include teachers, teacher assistants, media specialists, school counselors, principals, assistant principals, custodians, food service staff, and any other full-time, contracted employees assigned to work in schools under the direct supervision of building principals;

    • Full-time, contracted instructional technology resource teachers (ITRTs);
    • Identified full-time, contracted school nutrition staff (central level);
    • Identified full-time, contracted facilities management and custodial services staff who assist in the sanitization of school facilities (central level); and
    • Identified information technology (IT) staff (central level).

    The supporting PowerPoint outlining Dr. Byrdsong’s recommendations is available online at go.boarddocs.com/vsba/nps/Board.