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Harrisonburg School Board approves 2022-2023 budget

During the meeting, the board will also hear the latest progress on the construction of the...
During the meeting, the board will also hear the latest progress on the construction of the second Harrisonburg High School.(WHSV)
Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 6:44 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The Harrisonburg City School Board met Tuesday night. The big item on the agenda was a vote on whether to approve the proposed budget for the 2022-2023 school year.

The proposed budget from Superintendent Dr. Michael Richards totals just over $107 million, a nearly 15% increase from the past year’s budget.

The board unanimously passed the budget as presented. It now goes to Harrisonburg City Council for approval.

The biggest reason for the increase in the budget is the need to address pay for teachers and other faculty.

The school board says increasing pay across the division has been a primary focus during the budgeting process.

“We think that that will help us with recruiting and retaining top talent and getting them to stay in the city throughout their career pathways,” said Dr. Nick Swayne, the school board chair. “We intend to offer very competitive salaries that allow them to work and live in the city and recognize the value that they bring.”

During the meeting, the board also heard the latest progress on the construction of the second Harrisonburg High School. It will also get an update from Cathy Copeland, the chair of the naming committee for the new school.

“I’m told she may share as many [names] as a primary and three alternates and then we’ll have some time to discuss those over the next two weeks and then hopefully come back for the first meeting in May with a final name approved at that point,” said Dr. Swayne.

The naming committee and the board will also work to come up with school colors and a mascot sooner rather than later.

“All those are important for the next stage of construction because they’ve got to start thinking about ordering paint and buying the paint and the colors and getting the name up. All that is a little more difficult these days because of supply chain issues so we’re trying to get ahead on that,” said Swayne.

The board will also hear the latest on a partnership between HCPS and the City of Harrisonburg to pursue state and federal funding for alternative fuel buses that are more environmentally friendly.

The meeting will start at 7 p.m. in the Harrisonburg City Council chambers.

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