With final passage of a budget by the General Assembly, the Chesterfield County Public Schools board met in a special meeting on June 21 and approved their final fiscal 2023 financial plan.
It includes $6 million in one-time bonuses for staff and two-year funding for the Chesterfield Recovery Academy. The latter will get $864,000 this fiscal year and $500,000 next year.
With the one-time funds, the school district was able to complete Phase I of Salary Study 2, according to Kimberly Hough, chief of human resources.
The salary study began in October last year and compared Chesterfield with 13 other school districts.
The one-time funds and percentage increases in wages will give the schools a “strong foundation for future raises,” she said. A future proposal includes a minimum $16 an hour for all employees.
Bus drivers will get a 3-percent increase along with a continuation of $3,000 bonuses previously announced. Hough noted that 31 drivers were currently in training.
Food service workers, who are part-time, will get $14 an hour with a $2,500 bonus. Hough said there are over 100 vacancies in that area.
Instructional assistants will get a 5-percent increase along with $2,000 bonuses. That area has 93 vacancies, Hough said.
The bonuses will come in employees’ second check of the month and be paid from October through May.
Teachers at high needs schools will get a $4,000 bonus, while custodians will get $1,500 and other employees $1,000.
The pay for instructional assistant substitutes will increase from $66 to $77 per day.
The school district will host jobs fairs on July 26 for food service workers, Aug. 9 for instructional assistants and Sept. 13 for substitutes. The daily rate for substitutes, which was implemented last November, will remain $101.50 per day and $203 for Fridays and other high demand days.
Hough said those with questions can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teachers will get a 5-percent raise on Aug. 1 and another 5-percent raise on July 1 next year.
Chief Financial Officer Rob Meister noted that the county supervisors agreed to pay $1.1 million to make up for one month from July 1 to Aug. 1 this year, otherwise this year’s raise would be only 4.6 percent.
The total budget for fiscal 2023 is $902 million, which includes $363.8 million in local funds. The fiscal 2022 budget was $823.8 million.
Board member Debbie Bailey (Dale) asked if retired teachers could retain their pensions and come back to work for Chesterfield. Hough said they would have had to take full retirement and sit out for one year.
Hough said that elementary and physical education teachers are on the state’s shortage list.
The board’s next meeting is 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 15.