Bedford County Schools Presents Budget Proposal

Bedford Co., VA - The superintendent of Bedford County schools presented his list of spending priorities for the next school year in a $104 million budget proposal to the school board.

Teachers want a 6 % raise, but this budget only calls for half that amount.

Dr. Douglas Schuch admitted in his comments to the board that this budget will not support the extra compensation that would bring the school system to a competitive level in the region. But, he is asking for a 3 % raise for all employees. He also wants the school system to pay for any health insurance premium increases, so that burden is not passed on to the school employees.

Schuch wants to add teachers at the middle and high school levels. He says they've had high turnover among secondary math teachers, so he wants to offer incentive pay for those positions.

The superintendent hopes to meet community expectations for improved schools.

"When I go around and talk to folks, whether they be parent groups, employee groups or even student groups, or others in the community, the two themes that I have heard louder is employee compensation, and we've talked about the teacher pay. The other thing is technology in our schools," said Schuch.

In terms of technology, Schuch wants all middle and high schools to be wireless by the end of the 2013-2014 school years, elementary schools the following year. He'd also like to set aside money for security upgrades, like cameras and secured entrances though there's no specific plan for those things just yet.

The school board got the budget Thursday night and will have a week before a called meeting to discuss it.