City of Manassas

The following were among actions taken at the Jan. 8 meeting of the Manassas School Board. For more information call 361-0166.

BUDGET -- State aid to Manassas schools for the 1991-1992 school year is expected to be $1.4 million or almost 17 percent below what state officials said last spring the city would get, Director of Finance Wayne Moore told the School Board.

In March, state officials said Manassas schools would receive about $8.6 million -- including revenue from state sales taxes collected in Manassas. But increasing shortfalls in state revenues prompted Gov. L. Douglas Wilder and state officials to cut funding to localities for fiscal 1991, which ends June 31, and planned funding for the following fiscal year.

State funding to Manassas schools for this school year already has been cut by $314,894 to $8.02 million. State aid now comprises about 25 percent of the school system's current $31.4 million budget.

State funding for next school year has been reduced to $7.2 million. This cut in state funding for next year compared to the revised state funding for this school year is only about a 10 percent cut. That cut is in line with Wilder's directive that funding to schools not be cut by more than 12 percent.

Moore said on Wednesday that school officials are "having a very tough time" fitting the projected state cuts into next year's school budget. Superintendent of School James Upperman is expected to present a proposed budget at the Jan. 22 board meeting.

CAPITAL PROJECTS -- The School Board approved a $1.5 million five-year capital improvements program, composed primarily of major maintenance projects, rather than building new facilities.

Manassas's two major school projects were completed last summer with construction of the new Metz Junior High School and renovation and expansion of Jennie Dean Elementary School. The city's high school, junior high and five elementary schools are expected to accomodate any growth in the student population, now 4,744, in the foreseeable future.

The five-year program, which is revised annually, will be submitted to the City Council for final approval as part of a combined city-school capital improvements program.

New projects in the proposed capital budget include $228,000 to replace the roof of Haydon Elementary School in the 1993-1994 school year and $150,000 to replace the gym roof at Dean Elementary School in the 1994-95 school year. Other new funding in the program includes $237,000 to remove or convert old oil burning boilers to natural gas at most city schools.

Unchanged in the five-year program are $243,000 in funding to add several vocational education laboratories to Metz Junior High School next school year as well as numerous maintenance projects, such as installing more energy efficient windows at several schools.

ADULT EDUCATION -- The School Board approved plans to offer a 10-week night English language course to parents of Manassas students who speak English as their second language and take ESL classes in school. The night classes will be held once a week begining in February in the Jennie Dean Elementary School's Center for Cultural Exchange.

To be taught by a Manassas teacher, the class will accommodate 15 adults. Tuition fees of $30 per student will be used to pay the teacher, but school officials may waive the fee for adults and students who cannot afford it.

If not enough adults sign up for the class, it will opened to ESL students from the city's junior and senior high schools who may wish to take an additional ESL course at night.

For further information, call Nancy Cook, director of pupil personnel, at 361-0166.