The Loudoun County School Board last week adopted a budget of more than $58.3 million that reflected nearly $900,000 in cuts requested by the Board of Supervisors.
The new budget left intact School Superintendent Robert Butt's proposal for an 11 percent raise for teachers and a $20,000 salary for beginning teachers, a $2,500 increase. The higher salary will make it easier to recruit new teachers, especially in science and mathematics, school spokeswoman Molly Converse said. The budget includes funding for 32 new teaching positions.
Falling oil prices helped the superintendent's staff make the necessary cuts, Converse said. The budget projects a $50,000 savings in fuel oil costs next winter and a $7,000 reduction in gasoline costs. Other cuts were made in the category of textbooks and other instructional tools, where a total of nearly $220,000 was slashed. Capital improvements were cut when the board decided to eliminate all new paving projects and pave only where existing sidewalks and other areas need repair.
The construction of storage buildings at three schools will be paid for out of unspent funds from last year's budget, Converse said.
More than $60,000 in unexpected revenue also made the board's job easier, she said. The schools have received $25,400 for textbooks from the state and $35,000 in federal funds that forestalled further cuts.