How is the Superintendentís Recommended Budget drafted?
Budget preparation begins in the fall. In October, the budget committee began meeting to discuss the development of the 2014-2015 budget. While keeping the real bottom line in the forefront (the education of NNPS students), the committee received regular updates on state and local funding, reviewed suggestions from employees through the web site and other correspondence, and discussed various measures to reduce spending.
Supervisors and directors were asked to prepare and submit their departmental budgets. In January, each departmentís budget is presented to the committee. Once all budgets are presented, the Budget Office begins compiling all of the funding requests to develop the Superintendentís FY 2015 budget. This budget becomes the Superintendentís Recommended Budget and will be presented to the School Board at a special work session on March 1.
The Proposed Budget is based on the General Assemblyís proposed budget and the Newport News City Managerís proposed local contribution. In developing the FY 2015 budget, the committee approached the work with one goal in mind: continuing our commitment to the education of our students by advancing our benchmarks for our schools, while maintaining the financial stability of the organization.
Who is on the budget committee?
The budget committee is comprised of NNPS employees (including the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendents, Executive Directors, Supervisors, and Principals from all education levels), a representative from the Newport News Education Foundation, and the president of the Newport News Education Association.
Where does the funding come from?
Newport News Public Schools receives operating budget revenues from three primary sources Ė State aid for public education, funds transferred from the City of Newport News and federal impact aid. NNPS also receives a small amount of revenue from non- resident tuition, fees and receipts from athletic activities.
When was the last time NNPS employees received a pay raise?
Employee wages and salaries are based on the pay plan approved by the School Board. District-wide pay increases are considered during the budget development process each year.
Salary Increase/One-Time Payment History
2007-2008 school year: Teachers received an average 5 percent pay increase and other staff received an average 3 percent pay increase
2008-2009 school year: All staff received an average 3.5 percent pay increase
2009-2010 school year: No salary increase; salaries remained the same
2010-2011 school year: All staff received a one-time net payment of $500; Employee salaries remained the same
2011-2012 school year: All staff received a 1 percent pay increase and a 2 percent one-time payment
2012-2013 school year: All staff received a 1.5 percent pay increase (Virginia Retirement System eligible employees pay 1 percent to VRS)
2013-2014 school year: The approved budget included a 3.5% pay increase for NNPS employees in the Virginia Retirement System pension plan (employees contribute an additional 1% to the plan) and a 4.5% increase in pay for employees in the City Retirement plan (employees contribute 2% to the pension plan).
Will there be an employee pay raise for the 2014-2015 school year?
The Superintendentís budget proposal for 2014-2015 includes a salary increase of 4.5% for all employees. Employees in VRS and employees in the city retirement plan would contribute an additional 3% to complete the transfer of the employee share and receive a 1.5% salary increase. NNPS employees hired after July 1, 2010 are already contributing 5% to VRS; those employees would receive a 4.5% salary increase.
Why does the budget proposal include transferring the remaining 3% employee share to VRS and the City Retirement fund? I thought NNPS was phasing in this requirement.
In 2012, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation that requires local school district and government employees in the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) to contribute 5% of their salary to retirement; employers are required to offset that contribution with corresponding raises. Local school districts and city and county governments were given the option of phasing in the implementation of the employee share over five years for employees already in VRS.
During the 2012-2013 school year, all NNPS staff received a 1.5% pay increase with existing VRS employees contributing 1% to VRS. During the 2013-2014 school year, the approved budget included a 3.5% pay increase for NNPS employees in VRS (employees contributed an additional 1% to the plan) and a 4.5% increase in pay for employees in the City Retirement plan (employees contributed 2% to the pension plan).
Completing the remaining 3% employee share is under consideration now because employees hired by NNPS since July 1, 2010 have been paying their full 5% share to VRS as outlined by the General Assembly. In addition, some neighboring school districts have already completed the VRS employee share transfer so their employee salaries have increased 5%. Completing the transfer of the VRS/City employee share next school year will address the divide between employees hired before and after July 2010 by aligning salaries, bring NNPS salaries in line with area school districts, and provide all employees a salary increase.
Are there any changes proposed for health benefits?
Full-time and part-time contracted and appointed employees will continue to have access to a comprehensive benefits package which includes health, dental, vision and life insurance; retirement income; flexible spending accounts; legal resources; 403(b) and 457(b) retirement plans; and employee discounts.
Health insurance premiums may increase for the next plan year, which will begin January 2015. Information on health insurance premiums will be shared with all staff later this spring.
What is a health insurance plan year?
The plan year is the period of time (usually 12 months) that your benefits package is effective. In NNPS, the plan year for health, dental and vision insurance is October through September with open enrollment in June. The prescription drug plan year though is January to December. To align these plan years, participants in the NNPS healthcare plans will move to a January to December plan year beginning January 2015. Open enrollment will be held in September 2014 for all employees.
To assist with this transition, coverage under our current healthcare plans will be extended through the end of December 2014.