School Board requesting an additional $519,948 for three positions and capital improvements


By Randy Arrington

LURAY, July 14 — The Page County School Board unanimously adopted a resolution Thursday night to request an additional $519,948 from the Page County Board of Supervisors to cover three new positions and what they see as a “gap” in funding for capital improvements. The funds would be in addition to the $11 million already allocated for schools in the 2022-2023 fiscal year that began July 1.

Schools officials say they still need to hire an Alternative Education Teacher, an Electricity Teacher (at the Page County Technical Center), and a Behavior Specialist that were originally included in the proposed budget, but were later cut. The three positions would require $217,009 in additional funding.

With regard to monies set aside for capital improvements, state funding fell short of what Governor Glenn Youngkin’s proposed budget showed in December. The General Assembly’s final draft of the state’s biennium budget cut back funding for capital projects, resulting in $302,939 less than projected for Page County.

The request appears on the board of supervisor’s agenda for Monday, July 18.

Dr. Antonia Fox, superintendent of Page County Public Schools, told the school board that the additional funds from the county would push the division’s total CIP funding from $1.8 million to $2.1 million. However, the division’s current CIP contains at least 15 different projects considered priorities that are estimated to cost more than $50 million. Fox said at a recent meeting that a new CIP will be developed and shared with supervisors that re-evaluates the school system’s capital needs over the next decade.

Just over two weeks ago, the school board adopted its $47.5 million spending plan for the current fiscal year, with $43 million earmarked for operations — a $1.6 million increase (or 3.9 percent) over the FY22 budget. Due to the influx of additional state and federal dollars — and the inclusion of the CIP funding — the total budget reflects a 9.2-percent increase over FY22, equaling more than $4 million.

In addition to the $43 million operating budget, more than $2.7 million is budgeted for capital improvements this upcoming year, and nearly $2.2 million is dedicated to food service.

The Page County Board of Supervisors adopted an $86.5 million dollar FY23 budget in May that included an additional $694,108 in local funding for schools above the current budget. The amount falls well short of the additional $1.6 million originally requested by schools. However, that request was later lowered to just under $1 million, when the county earlier this year shifted a long-term, multi-million-dollar energy savings contract with Johnson Controls from the school budget to the county budget. The move took more than $600,000 out of the annual school budget, which means the increase in local funding for FY23 simply puts the school division back at the same level of local funding as FY22, around $11 million.

Faculty and staff are scheduled to receive a 7-percent salary increase, plus step increases, valued at nearly $2.2 million. The division will also conduct a classified scale adjustment for employees at a cost of $477,030.

The Page County Sheriff’s Office also submitted a grant application last Wednesday to fund two additional School Resource Officers (SROs) — one each at Luray and Shenandoah Elementary. Dr. Fox said the sheriff’s office hope to hear something on the four-year grant by Aug. 1.

To view the Agenda for the Board of Supervisors’ July 18 meeting,




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