Significant Budget Adjustments in FY 2022
The global pandemic took root in March, 2020, at approximately the same time as the FY 2021 budget was reaching the approval stage. Because of the uncertainty in revenue forecasts throughout the state and nation, the FY 2021 budget was constructed conservatively and did not keep pace with the compensation increases that had been seen in the two previous years. The federal government, however, introduced massive amounts of relief funding into the state revenue stream through several programs. This influx of federal funding allowed state funding levels to be maintained through No Loss Funding, which was not solidified until early 2021. The forecast for state funding for FY 2022 carries the same reinforcement. That is, revenue losses that could be expected due to loss of students in average daily membership have been put off for the time being, thanks in large part to the heavy presence of federal relief programs. Additionally, in Virginia, the pandemic appears to have affected most negatively the segment of the population that is employed but which is still considered low-income. For this reason, while many employees have experienced job loss, the economy has been able to rebound more quickly than it did during the Great Recession in 2007-2009. The approved state budget continued No Loss Funding and provided funds for a 5% salary increase for all positions funded through the Standards of Quality.
- Employees in positions that require a Virginia professional license (i.e., full-time teachers, school counselors, ITRTs, etc.) will receive up to three steps on the Teacher Scale (if they are eligible for three steps or more).
- The stepwise increases are given in an effort to nullify the lag for most veteran employees on the scale whose years of service and step are out of alignment. The stepwise increases should reduce the discrepancy for all employees on the scale to no greater than a two-year difference between years of service and scale step.
- The Teacher salary scale has been adjusted in three segments: salaries on Steps 0 – 10 increased 3.5%; salaries on Steps 11 – 20 increased 3.0%; and salaries on Steps 21 – 27 increased 2.5%.
- The adjustments to the Teacher salary scale bring the bottom 28 steps into better alignment with the top step. The varied increases are designed to achieve an overall 5% increase in salaries. The varied increases take into consideration that most employees on the scale who are eligible for the full three step increase are those employees at higher salaries, and the employees less likely to be eligible for three steps are those who are at lower steps on the scale.
- Employees who advanced to Step 28 on the Teacher Scale receive no further compensation adjustment; employees who were already on Step 28 will receive a 5% increase in pay (approximately $3,015), paid as a stipend over the course of the year.
- Employees paid on classified scales are given three steps on their current scale, and each scale has been increased by 3.5% for Steps 0 – 27. Step 28 has not been adjusted, as between Steps 27 and 28 is where the largest gap occurs on every scale. Employees currently on the 28th Step as well as employees who were on Step 27 in FY 2021 will receive the $3,015 stipend, which was derived from increasing the Teacher Scale top step by 5%.
- Employees paid on the open-range administrative scales are given a 3% increase in annual salary. This increase is not to affect the starting, mid-range, or ending salary marks previously established for the scales.
- Bus drivers and bus driver aides are given a 5% increase in annual pay
- The budget provides funding for $100,000 of renovations at Career Academy for the implementation of a nursing program; an additional $84,000 has been added for the associated personnel.
- The budget provides $84,000 for the creation of a Student Information System (SIS) position. At the time of budget approval, however, there has not been a decision regarding the title of this position.
- Nine elementary bookkeepers are being moved from a ten-month scale to a twelve-month scale. This places the elementary bookkeepers on the same scale as the bookkeepers in the secondary schools.
- The budget provides funding for 15 full-time bus drivers with single subscriber benefits.
- The budget also establishes minor adjustments to hourly pay scales to adhere to upcoming changes to minimum wage. These changes can be seen in the section devoted to Substitute and Hourly Rates.