GATE CITY - The Scott County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday approved a county schools budget that will be $1.4 million larger for the upcoming fiscal year but will likely cost the county less in the long run.
School Superintendent Jim Scott asked the board for an additional $211,000. That is the local match for a $1.2 million increase from Richmond.
The school system could return $197,000 to the county through payment of indirect costs, such as attorney fees and purchasing assistance, Scott said.
The county will also be gaining $70,000 or $80,000 as some of the school system's debt service is paid off over the next fiscal year.
Minus the cafeterias, which operate on their own budgets, Scott County Schools will operate and pay for capital expenses out of a $35.7 million budget. Of that, the county is being asked for $5.2 million.
Supervisors were pleased to hear that the county's investment in funds would bring in more money in state education funds.
"Putting in $211,000 and getting $1.2 million, that's like giving a dollar and getting back five," said Supervisor Joe Horton.
While the school system got a $6 million increase in state funding last year, Scott does not expect the trend to continue. Funding increases from the state will stop as more money is poured into state transportation, he said.
While operating costs are the biggest part of the school budget, money is included to do some needed renovation work, Scott said.
Workers are putting a new gymnasium on the back of Duffield Elementary School. That project is expected to cost $980,000 and be completed in about three months. Bids will be taken April 20 for the construction of a new gym at Twin Springs High School. Funding for that project will come out of next year's budget, Scott said.
Classroom space will also be added next year. In the past year, four classrooms have been added at Duffield and four at Shoemaker Elementary School. "Now we're going to add two classrooms at Yuma Elementary School," Scott said.
Other major upcoming expenses will include a field house at Rye Cove High School and paving projects at several schools around the county.