Caroline County news roundup

Bowling Green Town Council Election: The Free Lance–Star:

Eight candidates will vie for seven seats on the Bowling Green Town Council in Tuesday’s election.

Two current members, Susan Sili and T. Scott Haley are not running for re-election, but three new faces have joined the race.

Mayor David Storke is running for the seat again unopposed.

The full story has more along with candidate profiles.

Superintendent search: The Free Lance–Star:

Nine of Caroline County’s 26 applicants for superintendent are former or current school chiefs.

The candidates include four assistant superintendents, six central-office administrators, four principals or school administrators and three others.

Sixteen men and 10 women–10 of whom belong to racial minorities–applied for the position. Twelve of the candidates live outside Virginia.

Again, full story has more.

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):

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:

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 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:

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.

Okay, joint Board of Supervisors/School Board worksession back to being on February 4th

They seem to be having trouble figuring out the day for some reason. First, it was the 4th as announced at the last Board of Supervisors meeting. Then it was the 5th according to the ticker on the county website. Now, it’s the 4th according to the February Message from the County Administrator:

The Board of Supervisors will hold its regular meetings this month on Tuesday, February 12 and Tuesday, February 26 at 6 p.m. at the Community Services Center. In addition, a joint worksession with the Caroline School Board will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, February 4 at the Community Services Center.