BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL)- The Bristol Virginia School Board asked the city on Monday night for an extra million dollars in funding on top of the school district’s usual budget amount.
The reason for the additional amount is to allow teachers and staff to get a pay raise, school leaders told News Channel 11. The Bristol Virginia City Council discussed the matter Tuesday and said the school system might only receive $500,000 because of other expenses, such as the Bristol Landfill.
Vice Chair of the Bristol Virginia School Board Breanne Forbes-Hubbard said they want all their staff to receive the raise.
“Most of it is going to salary increases that are required by the state,” said Forbes-Hubbard. “We want to be able to match that and bring the rest of our staff along.”
But without the extra funding, that might not be a plausible move for Bristol Virginia Public Schools (BVPS).
“If we don’t have extra funding above that required local minimum, that means we could only technically give raises to about half of our staff,” said Forbes-Hubbard. “Which as you can imagine, is not something that anyone wants to do.”
Bristol, Virginia Mayor Neal Osborne said they do not want to burden taxpayers.
“The difference in the $500,000 was ‘do we charge citizens $72 for trash pick up every month or do we charge them $60 for trash pickup?'”
The city council said it supports staff raises but simply cannot make it work for the $1 million.
“I believe a lot of people are getting pay raises,” said Osborne. “They’ll get that additional $500,000 from us, and then they’re looking at an alternative funding method to use one-time lottery and extra funds.”
Forbes-Hubbard said BVPS wanted to plan ahead.
“We wanted to make sure, first of all, that the amount we’re getting from the city doesn’t fall below that required local match,” said Forbes-Hubbard. “Because then you’re in a position of having to pay back the state, and nobody wants to have to do that.”
Osborne said with the extra funding, the school board should be in a good position to work this fiscal year.
“They’re in a good position from a city standpoint,” said Osborne. “And they’ll have that additional $500,000 from the lottery and the federal funds that they have access to now.”
Although the Bristol Virginia School Board might not receive the $1 million it sought from the city, Forbes-Hubbard said they understand the council’s decision.
The $500,000 in extra funding has not been finalized but the Bristol Virginia City Council will meet again on Tuesday to finalize the decision.