RUSTBURG — The Campbell County School Board unanimously voted to approve its proposed budget for the 2021 fiscal year at its meeting Monday night.

The budget, which includes a 3% salary increase for employees and the addition of eight new personnel positions, will be presented to the Campbell County Board of Supervisors on April 7. The board of supervisors will adopt a county budget in May.

Robert Johnson, superintendent of Campbell County Public Schools, presented his draft budget for the 2021 fiscal year to the school board at a meeting earlier this month. He presented the board with a revised budget Monday that included the changes the board requested at the March 9 meeting.

Johnson said Monday the potential economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic could eventually affect the 2021 budget.

The budget totals more than $89 million and requests nearly $28.4 million in funding from the county, the exact amount it received from the county this fiscal year.

The approved budget includes $55.4 million in state funding, more than $5 million in federal funding and $337,250 in local funding.

In the 2019-20 budget, the school board approved a 5% pay increase for teachers and staff and a 4% pay increase for administrators. The 2021 budget includes a 3% salary increase to all employees.

The budget also adjusts the division’s salary scale to include a $9.75 minimum wage, with equitable increases for all classified workers. Classified staff consists of non-teaching school employees who do not need certification for their job, including bus drivers, nurses, instructional assistants and custodians.

At the March 9 meeting, board members Scott Miller and Barbara Rypkema urged Johnson to ensure all pay increases were fair and equitable for all employees.

“I’m glad that there’s, presumably, extra money and I’m glad it went to this,” Miller said of the pay increases for classified employees. “Our classified workers deserve it and they need it.”

The 2021 approved budget includes eight new personnel positions, half of which are special education staff.

Amy Witt, a member of the division’s special education advisory committee, said at the board’s public hearing on the budget in February the committee has seen a continued increase in the division’s special needs population.

“In order to accommodate these needs, the special needs community needs more special education teachers,” Witt told the board in February.

Administration added four special education positions — one elementary teacher, two elementary aides and one secondary teacher — to next year’s budget.

More additions include one English as a second language teacher, two elementary guidance counselors and one maintenance staff position.

The budget also includes $212,000 to go toward purchasing laptops to increase the ratio of laptops to students in the division.

If approved by the board of supervisors, the school division’s 2021 budget will go into effect at the beginning of the fiscal year in July 2020.

Jamey Cross covers education. Reach her at (434) 385-5532.

Jamey Cross covers education. Reach her at (434) 385-5532.

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