Craig County schools need more funding. That is an absolute fact. However, there still seems to be gaps in what is needed versus what will be available for the 2018-19 school year budget.
Seven members were present at the March School Board meeting: Superintendent Jeanette Warwick, Chairman and Representative for the Craig City District Pat Myers, Co-chair Susan Crenshaw who represents Craig Creek, Potts Mountain Representative Aaron Calfee, Simmonsville Representative Gina Smith, New Castle Representative George Foster and Diana Bayne, Deputy Clerk of the School Board.
The Craig County School Board has diligently worked over the last two months to tweak every possible dollar amount from places that may be deemed “not as needed” into the “must have” slots.
“Some decisions that we have to make are not our first choices,” Superintendent Jeanette Warwick said. “We are doing our best with the funds which we know we have to work with at this time.”
There are possible additional state and federal funds that the Board hopes they will receive to assist in their goal of enhancing the school system’s needs. Also, the Craig County Board of Supervisors will possibly be coming up with additional monies which were pulled from the budget last year. “We hope we will be able to recoup these funds from them this year,” Warwick added.
Another essential point Warwick explained to the Board and attendees was “the decrease in funding which will be received based on the Average Daily Membership (ADM) of students attending next year.”
“We know we have approximately 60 seniors graduating this year, and the average number of kindergarten students who started the last few years have been in the lower 20s. These numbers are what the Government bases their projections on,” she said.
The idea of eliminating certain positions and cuts in certain areas have temporarily made, but the final budget cannot be completed until all of the money is known.
David Givens, a well-known volunteer of the Craig County Public School System, assisted the Board with his expertise in technology by submitting a proposal of needed items for the auditorium. He also supplied a handout to each member for additional information.
“There are many items needed for the stage that need to be replaced for various reasons,” Givens shared. “When we purchase new equipment, we want to make sure that we have them installed with all of the safety measures possible.”
In David’s handout was information on applying for a free stage rigging inspection and safety training for secondary schools across America by USITT, Rigging Safety Initiative. The application is due April 20.
“They will actually pay the inspector directly for the school and also for the four to six hours of safety training for faculty and student stage crew,” Givens shared. “The only cost to schools may be the inspector’s travel and housing if it’s needed.” Also, the school will receive a detailed status report on their current rigging, with what is working properly and what potential safety problems can be prevented with routine care.
Givens also gave a list of projected costs on other important items needed for the auditorium.
“This is very good and detailed information, and we are grateful for all of the time you have put into this,” Warwick said.
Donna Duplazes reported on the School Calendar final dates. Discussion on the specific dates to start and end the school year remained on the table, as some prefer Craig County school dates to parallel with the BTEC (Botetourt Technical Ed Center), where many Craig students attend.
The next meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, April 10, at 6:30 p.m. in the Media Center. (Due to school being closed for Spring Break, the date was changed from April 2.)