Chesterfield Superintendent proposes $760 million budget focusing on increasing teacher salaries

Chesterfield County

Chesterfield Schools Superintendent Dr. Merv Daugherty

Chesterfield County, Va. (WRIC) — The Chesterfield County School Board will get a look at the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2022, which applies to the 2021-22 school year, on Tuesday.

Chesterfield County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Merv Daugherty said the proposed $759.4 million budget is much lower than what other Virginia school districts of similar size operate on.

Daugherty said in the “needs-based budget,” the school district is asking for things that should have been taken care of a decade ago.

The most important priority, according to Daugherty, is adjusting teacher salaries.

Last year, the county paid for a teacher salary study to be conducted by a third-party consultant. The study recommended a phased approach to start increasing salaries.

$23 million in the proposed budget would go toward implementing “Phase 1” of that approach.

This comparison from CCPS shows the current teacher pay scale and the proposed teacher pay scale under Phase 1 of the teacher salary study.

“If we do not master this issue and accomplish it this year, I would consider our budget a failure to our entire community. People move into Chesterfield County because of the school system. They are continuing to move into the system,” Daughtery said.

Another priority, according to the superintendent, is providing resources and staffing to support a growing, diverse student population in Chesterfield.

The proposed budget requires $55.6 million in additional funding, according to the school district. Currently, $16 million in new revenue has been identified, leaving a gap of $39.6 million.

The county has about $24 million in carryover funds which could be used to reduce the gap, according to CCPS.

In the proposed budget, 54.1% of the funding would be derived from the state and 44.4% would be derived from the county.

The school board will hold the following virtual community meetings on the proposed budget with a budget presentation and question-and-answer:

  • Matoaca District: Jan. 27 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
  • Clover Hill and Midlothian Districts: Jan. 28 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
  • Bermuda and Dale Districts: Feb. 1 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Each community meeting will be live streamed on the CCPS Facebook and YouTube pages. Questions can be submitted here.

The school board will also hold budget work sessions on Feb. 2, Feb. 9 and Feb. 17 at 4 p.m. to unpack the superintendent’s funding requests. Each of these sessions will be held in the Public Meeting Room at 10001 Iron Bridge Road.

There is no public comment during these work sessions, but there is a public hearing scheduled before the school board’s business meeting on Feb. 9. No sign-up is required to speak at 6:30 p.m.

Citizens can attend on a first-come, first-served basis, as seating is limited due to social distancing. The work sessions will be livestreamed here, and will be broadcast on Comcast Channel 98 and Verizon Channel 28.

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