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IOW supervisors approve carryover plan for schools

Published 12:34pm Saturday, March 23, 2013

BY STEPHEN H. COWLES/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Playback58@gmail.com

ISLE OF WIGHT—After receiving assurance that Isle of Wight County teachers would get paid through the end of the school year, the county’s five supervisors unanimously agreed to a recommendation in handling a carryover of school purchase orders from fiscal year 2011-12.

“I can guarantee teachers will get paid,” IOW Budget and Finance Director Michael Terry said to address Board Chairwoman JoAnn Hall’s concern.

First, at issue was $2.1 million that went back to the county automatically on June 30, 2012. Virginia law requires schools systems return all unspent money to their respective governing bodies at the end of the fiscal year.

However, in the last month before the deadline, the IOW schools had contracted $1.4 worth of goods and services. Some examples of these could be for buses, iPads, custodial services and supplies for offices and teachers, said Terry and Don Robertson, the county’s spokesman.

The contracts had apparently been made with the understanding that the county would return the money to the schools, which has reportedly been a tradition between the two boards.

Without that money, came the school board’s concern that schools could not meet payroll for May and June.

In Terry’s report to the board Thursday, the staff review noted that schools gave written evidence that the majority of the purchase orders hadn’t been received by June 30, 2012.

He presented two options for the board.

The first plan would approve carryover of the $1.4 million plus $65,656 in textbook funds.

The second option, which Terry recommended and was approved, would:

  • Direct county staff to formally ask the county treasurer to transfer $2.1 million from the school’s local account to the county’s local account;
  • Direct county staff to formally ask the board of supervisors to re-appropriate $112,214 ($46,649 in open purchase orders plus $65,565 in textbook funds) to the school board’s local account;
  • Direct county staff to formally ask the county treasurer to re-appropriate that $112,214 to the schools;
  • Do not approve the $1.4 million remainder of the requested open purchase order carryover;
  • Request schools give the county treasurer and staff, by April 13, the financial projections of cash needed to ensure the school board has enough to pay teachers for the remainder of fiscal year 2012-13;
  • Request county staff and treasurer to create a contingency plan for maintaining enough cash reserves to help the school board in eliminating the temporary cash flow deficit for teachers’ salaries for fiscal year 2012-13.

There was no question about being able to pay the teachers, said Smithfield Supervisor Al Casteen to The Tidewater News.

“I think we have to take firm stand in dealing with the matter. The school’s credibility is in question,” he added.

Carrsville Supervisor Rex Alphin said the issue of returning any more money to the schools is still to be decided.

“My hope that we will not go down that road again, and that it’s a one-time situation. We’ll take a new look at things and initiate a new procedure,” said Alphin. “I think I speak with the board on that.”

  • SlimPickens

    This whole deal stinks to high heavens. The B.O.S. and the School Board have argued over money EVERY year I can ever remember. All this upheavil and out of the blue the CFO for the School Board decides all of a sudden to retire? The same CFO who used to be on the BOS? Sorry folks but I smell a rat. Our Supt. of Schools is way over paid, for what? What has she done for our kids in IOW County Schools? The County Administration needs to be purged of all these asst. jobs and salaries need to be more in line with those of similar localities. (Look West ’cause we can’t compare to what is East) We the People of IOW County have been duped for the last 10 years. When is anyone going to wake up and smell the coffee? $1.4 MILLION DOLLARS spent for Ipads that are good for……..what? Not a single textbook is loaded on these, they are great for playing games and tweeting, facebooking and ??????? what? Get ready for next year when you have to repair/replace Ipads THEN pay for how ever many textbooks our County can afford to load onto them. Good Luck…….this is a shame. And a SHAM!!!!

    Suggest Removal

  • IOW CITIZEN

    Jeronimo – you are grasping for “straws” … and if you really want to
    Review admin salaries I encourage you to review the county
    admin.

    Suggest Removal

    • jeronimo

      Facts and figures derived directly from the budget documents are “grasping for straws”?
      Both entities – schools and the county – have a lot of work to do to be more fiscally responsible .. there are overpaid positions at each location .. the question I raised is whether unapproved raises took place at the School Board Office.
      I support public education and believe it is the best place for a locality to invest its money or the locality is setting itself up for serious trouble down the road .. but I have no respect for the scare tactics being used by IOWCS schools right now .. “Teachers won’t get paid if we don’t get the money back”
      Whether there was an agreement to be able to spend the money or not .. if you don’t have the cash .. you shouldn’t spend the cash!! The schools tried to hold the county hostage with dire predictions on the backs of the teachers who make our schools what they are – shame on them!

      Suggest Removal

  • jeronimo

    There was a substantial increase in the Superintendent’s budget for “benefits” .. a little more than $20K .. I believe that was the term used in previous years to explain a necessary increase to the Mrs. Perera’s contract.
    If you read the budget, it also shows that School Board expenses went up due to realocating funds from the Superintendent’s budget section .. the SB “other” section went up by more than $17K but there was not an equal reduction in the Superintendent’s “other” section.
    That’s not the only budget area that should be brought into question. The School Board voted to that there would be no raises for FY13, other than the required increases due to the retirement system changes, yet there was a 9% increase in salaries (not benefits – straight salaries) in the Financial Services department.
    Perhaps Mr. DeGroft is correct in the need for lie detector tests.

    Suggest Removal

  • buddy86

    Anyone else here confused by this second option?

    My concern is if the funds were always reappropriated in the past and that’s the notion the school board was operating under, why are they being made to look suspicious? Why would Casteen say their credibility is in question? Seems to me if the BOS all of a sudden changed the tradition of reappropriating the school funds then they are the ones whose credibility should be in question…

    Suggest Removal

  • Liberty With Responsibility

    No admin persons should get ANY raises when the worker bees do not!

    Suggest Removal

  • lakegirl

    I hope the county has categorical funding for the school system budget next year. I know times are tough but our classrooms are the last place it should affect. I just saw the IOW budget proposal online for the schools and it is crazy! Our students don’t need to lose teachers and increase the class sizes. Most classrooms can’t physically hold more than 25-30 students. No raises for those in the trenches, yet the super will still get her increased $20,000.00, according to contract agreement. It is shameful when our school finance dept is putting themselves in such a position. Teachers and students deserve better.

    Suggest Removal

    • BlindSquirrel

      Do you know how the categorical funding works? And are you sure the superintendent is getting a $20,000 raise.

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