February 4, 2008 – Board of Supervisors/School Board joint meeting roundup

  1. Call to Order
  2. Invocation
  3. Timetable for Opening of Lewis & Clark Elementary School

The Free Lance-Star: Caroline school may open soon

  1. Discussion of K-5 School Concept

The K-5 school concept would have kindergarten through fifth grade in one building as opposed to have a separate primary and elementary school. According to studies that have been conducted it is more effective for students to be in one school for kindergarten through fifth grade (according to the study the students lose up to three months getting used to a new school and personnel). There was discussion on breaking up the students going to Bowling Green Primary and Elementary Schools and changing each of the schools into a K-5 school.

  1. Composite Index Discussion

Due to the composite index increasing (meaning the state claims the county can better fund schools this year than last year), the county will receive $1,000,000.00 less this year than last year. The composite index currently states that Caroline County is better able to fund their schools than Spotsylvania or Stafford Counties.

Since I’m lazy, here’s an email I wrote to someone on the composite index with a detailed analysis:

I wasn’t sure what numbers you had for the composite index at the Board of Supervisors-School Board meeting but I found the following stuff a couple weeks ago, from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE):

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/VDOE/Finance/Budget/composite.html

Specifically, there is one file that has the numbers (true values of real estate, the local adjusted gross income, the local taxable retail sales, student population, and county population) that the VDOE uses for each school division:

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/VDOE/Finance/Budget/2008-2010CompositeIndex-Template.xls

A couple of things I noticed:

Just looking at that, for some reason the state seems to think that Caroline County has more property value compared to county/student population than Spotsylvania County for some reason.

Also, the county’s population seems to be lower than it should be. According to Bureau of Census figures given to the FBI in 2005 for the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, the county’s population was 23,390. According to a story Ellen Biltz did (Region’s crime rate up, bucks the trend) the county’s population grew by 10% in 2006. 23,390 * 1.10 = 25,729. However, the composite index’s information says the county’s population is only 25,109. That’s only a 7.3% change. You could probably safely say all of those estimates are low considering Caroline County was named the 10th fastest growing county in the United States in 2005 and one of the fastest growing in Virginia in 2006. Director Fuzy put the county’s population at around 27,000 in a recent news story (Electronic alerts coming).

Furthermore, the composite index’s information states that the county only has a student population of 3,911. However, according to another report from the VDOE (at https://p1pe.doe.virginia.gov/reportcard/report.do?division=17&schoolName=All) the 2007-2008 student population for Caroline County Public Schools is 4,171 students (not sure why they say the student population went down from 2006-2007 to 2007-2008 in that report either).

Using the 25,729/4,171 population for the county and student population resulted in the composite index dropping to 0.3631, just below Stafford County’s. Using the 27,000/4,171 population figures the composite index drops to 0.3573.

Also, there are/were several bills that would affect the composite index going through the General Assembly but a couple of them have died already:

http://www.richmondsunlight.com/search/?q=composite+index

Anyway, back to the agenda:

  1. Proposed Fiscal Year 2008/09 School Budget

Actually, it was a non proposed preliminary (or some such) budget. The highlights included a 6% increase in teacher salaries and an operating budget of $39,300,000. However, Chairman Thomas said that that budget more than likely wasn’t feasible based on the state cutting over $1,000,000 due to the composite index.

  1. Next New School Discussion

They did not discuss where the school would be, only how they would pay for it. Chairman Thomas said the county was almost at the maximum amount of borrowing that their financial advisor had suggested in guidelines.

The only solution that was put forth was a bond referendum on the November 2008 ballot that would also include an increase in real estate taxes to pay back the bonds.

UPDATE: Reminder: The next School Board meeting is February 11, 2007.

The next Board of Supervisors meeting is February 12, 2007. Another reminder: Public comments for the Ladysmith Sub Area Plan will be allowed at the February 12th meeting.

4 Comments

  1. TJ says:

    “The only solution that was put forth was a bond referendum on the November 2008 ballot that would also include an increase in real estate taxes to pay back the bonds.”

    First thank you very much Timothy for enduring these awful meetings and giving us realistic and factual reports.

    So the BOS has found a way to put the monkey on the backs of the citizens with a bond referendum, instead of cutting spending on useless things like a Visitor Center in an area that has an accident rate 3 times the average for similar locations in the state.

    http://project207.blogspot.com/2008/02/letter-from-mr-ogle-fredericksburg-vdot.html

    I also heard Mr. Rozell (in charge of Public Safety) and the BOS are also planning on a bond referendum on a Public Safety Building. And don’t forget the Commonwealth Attorney also has space needs along with the NEW Registrar.

    How much more will the taxpayers of the county lose when the Fair does or does not make a profit for the county? Too, too sad………………….

    Here’s a suggestion BOS. Put Percy and friends in the current Sheriffs office. Mrs. Carter can go in the basement of the courthouse, and the Sheriffs dept can go into the newly purchased Union Bank Building. No more tax dollars wasted!!! Hmmmmm!

    Keep Fuzy and Garnett homeless as they already make too much for doing nothing.

  2. TJ says:

    P.S.

    Gotta love the fact the county website is still showing the January 8th BOS meeting summary.

    Yeah, lets give them more money to waste!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. “So the BOS has found a way to put the monkey on the backs of the citizens with a bond referendum, instead of cutting spending on useless things like a Visitor Center in an area that has an accident rate 3 times the average for similar locations in the state.”

    Yeah, I made a comment to someone at the meeting if the Board of Supervisors hadn’t spent $3,200,000 on the YMCA and $1,800,000 on the visitors center they would be able to afford a fourth of another K-5 school (around $20,000,000) and about an eight of a new high school (around $40,000,000).

    I also heard Mr. Rozell (in charge of Public Safety) and the BOS are also planning on a bond referendum on a Public Safety Building. And don’t forget the Commonwealth Attorney also has space needs along with the NEW Registrar.

    I hadn’t hear about the public safety building being on a referendum! We’re going to be up to our ears with debt…

    From what I heard, the Registrar was going to be incorporated into the Administration building.

    Don’t forget that they were talking about doing another bond referendum for the Sparta Fire Station too!:

    http://www.imsurroundedbyidiots.com/2007/12/17/someone-give-me-a-knife/

  4. Gotta love the fact the county website is still showing the January 8th BOS meeting summary.

    LOL, I don’t think anyone from The Caroline Dog Traine — I mean The Caroline Progress was there either. I only saw what I presume was Jeff Branscome of The Free Lance–Star and an unidentified woman that I think was from WFLS.

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