WISE — The Wise County School Board approved a budget for 2014-15 on Tuesday and continued its review of employee health insurance options for the next fiscal year.
Although state lawmakers have yet to settle on a budget — a stalemate over Medicaid expansion rather than typical budget issues including financing for public education — Wise County officials are projecting around $31.4 million in state funding for next fiscal year, an increase of more than $400,000 from the current fiscal year.
That will be more than offset by a $669,600 drop in local funding support projected for the county school division for next fiscal year and a projected slight drop in sales taxes. Wise County's budget for next fiscal year is affected by a larger local composite index (LCI) going into next fiscal year, the number the state uses to fund school divisions in a complex formula that assesses a locality's ability to support its schools.
The higher LCI for Wise County is attributable to Virginia Dominion Power Co.'s new electricity-generating station that went online in the county in 2012, providing a major boost to the county's tax base.
Coupled with the drop in county funds, largely a component of much lower than projected coal severance taxes this fiscal year, the school division's overall budgetary loss will be around $3 million for next fiscal year.
For an expanded version of this article, please see Thursday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.comments powered by Disqus