Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Update

Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Update
Posted on 01/18/2023
HCPS LogoDear Families,

I hope this email finds you well. At last night’s School Board meeting, I had the pleasure of introducing my proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2024.

Over the past three years, we have truly demonstrated the strength of our community. This strength has been shown through the trust of our families in supporting us as the only school division in Virginia to return to school in-person for five days a week in 2020-21 at all grade levels, while simultaneously offering a comprehensive online school, and through the dedication and talent of our faculty and staff in supporting our resilient students over the course of several challenging school years. This was also made possible through the strong, unwavering, and longstanding support of our many community and business partners, volunteers, county leaders, and our broader community who are vital to our continued success. As I have often remarked, our schools are a direct reflection of the community we serve, and our community is strong.

Working closely with our partners in Hanover County Administration and the Board of Supervisors, we have been deliberate in demonstrating our commitment to our students and staff since the onset of the pandemic and beyond while maintaining our devotion to fiscal responsibility. It is with this mindset and gratitude that I am proud to share that this budget continues to place our highest priority on meeting our students’ unique, complex, and evolving needs while investing in our amazing team of talented teachers and staff.

I am confident that this budget continues to uphold the Tradition of Excellence we pride ourselves on in Hanover County while placing the highest priority on caring for and supporting our students, families, faculty, and staff.

Highlights of the proposed budget include the following:

- 5% salary increase for all employees
- Salary enhancements and decompression for targeted job families to further improve starting salaries, pay equity, and regional competitiveness
- Funding to cover 100% of increasing health care premiums for Calendar Year 2023
- Increased stipends for teacher mentors
- A new financial incentive for career switchers who want to become teachers to reward relevant work experience
- Continuation of $15 per hour minimum pay rate for all employees
- Increased substitute teacher pay rate
- Funding to continue four clinical social worker positions to support student mental health needs in partnership with Hanover Community Services Board (in the event that state grant funding does not continue)
- 13 additional special education teachers to support increasing enrollment and the ever-growing and extensive needs of our students
- Staffing to support our youngest learners with special education needs in an inclusive learning environment
- Two additional English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teachers
- Local funding to continue providing positions and resources to our staff and students that were originally funded by the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER), including: Eight elementary resource teachers; Five school social workers; Four health assistants; Hanover County Online School; Paperless Human Resources onboarding software
- Funding for Google for Education Plus Licensing
- Advancing the schedule for replacing Battlefield Park Elementary, Washington-Henry Elementary, and a campus-style elementary school, as well as renovating Beaverdam Elementary

For a complete overview of the budget proposal, I encourage you to review my presentation from last night, which will be available on BoardDocs later today. In the meantime, you can find my letter to the School Board regarding the proposed budget on our website.

The School Board will hold a public hearing on the budget at the School Board Office on Tuesday, January 24 at 7 p.m. More details on the meeting will be shared later this week.

Pending the School Board’s approval of my proposed budget, I will present it to the Board of Supervisors in February for further consideration on the School Board’s behalf. The School Board will adopt a budget in May after the Board of Supervisors adopts its budget. More detailed information about the timeline is included at the end of my presentation from last night.

We remain proud of our efforts to provide a top-tier education and recognize that we must strategically build upon our current and past successes to ensure we remain exceptional in the future. This proposed budget invests in our students and staff, our community, long-term sustainability, and the buildings in which our longstanding Tradition of Excellence is made a reality. It upholds our promise to prepare all students to be successful and life-ready by teaching them to be empowered learners, responsible citizens, globally engaged communicators, and resilient individuals. Thank you for your continued support of this life-changing work.

With deepest appreciation,

Dr. Michael Gill
Superintendent of Schools
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