The Henry County School Board has determined how it will make up $103,864 in funding that it had requested but didn’t get from the county for the budget year that starts July 1.

The school division had hoped to use that amount of local funding to start weaning off a federal grant for special education — in case the school division eventually loses that federal grant.

“We were hoping to take a measure to pick up 10 percent of the salaries of 23 teachers and 15 paraprofessionals that had been covered (by the federal funds),” David Scott, the school division’s assistant superintendent of operations and administrative services, said in a phone interview Friday.

“We’re a little bit cautious about federal funding. If it goes away, we will have to scramble to release those people or pay out of local dollars.”

The school board decided at its meeting Thursday night to use all federal funds, according to Scott.

That action was part of the school board’s vote approving the school division’s revised budget for fiscal year 2019-20, which now totals $85,019,466. That includes $18,925,432 in local funding that was approved by the Henry County Board of Supervisors, which  is an increase of $400,000 in local funding of the previous year.

The school board also approved the categorical transfer request of $650,000 from from the Henry County Board of Supervisors as a year-end allocation within the budget. A supporting document says the funds are necessary for ongoing needs.

After holding a public hearing, at which no one spoke, the school board also voted to declare the former John Redd Smith Elementary School as surplus property and to return it to the county.

Henry County Deputy Administrator Dale Wagoner wrote in an email Friday that the county could, "1) Repurpose it. 2) Sell it. 3) Demolish it. I have not been involved with the disposition of any previously surplussed school buildings. … I do recall previous actions that included both selling the property to private entities and to non-profit organizations. Most recently, the Fieldale Community Center was sold for $1 to the Fieldale Heritage Festival Inc.

“There is not a set ‘process.’ The property will become another piece of county property, and the Board of Supervisors will decide what it will do or not do with it.”

In other business, the  school board approved $1.9 million of purchases, spending and contracts, including:

  • Purchased Measures of Academic Progress Assessment Program at an estimated cost of $53,319.60. MAP is a testing tool that narrow’s in on a student’s learning level.
  • Purchased of phonics instructional kits at an estimated cost of $45,000.
  • Awarded a contract to Kingmor Supply  Inc. of Harrisonburg to repair school bus seats, at a cost of $31,375.
  • Approved purchasing tires from  Jimmy’s Retreading of Collinsville at an approximate cost of $92,640 for the fiscal year 2019-20.
  • Approved spending up to $258,300 to purchase three 35-passenger special-needs school buses equipped with wheelchair lifts from Kingmor Supply of Crawford.
  • Awarded a contract to Edgenuity to provide online course content at an estimated cost of $35,000.
  • Approved the purchase of 1,150 iPad cases for first and fifth grades from Asset Genie Inc. at a cost of $79,350.
  • Awarded a contract to Dell for lease of laptops and carts for high school students, at a cost of $71,619.08 annually for four years.
  • Approved the purchase of Discovery Education Streaming Plus software of educational videos and interactive resources, as well as professional training, at a total cost of $37,900.
  • Awarded contract for heating oil to Davenport Energy of Chatham at an annual estimated amount of $200,000.
  • Awarded a contract to Barrows Inc. of Roanoke to purchase new dining room furniture at Fieldale-Collinsville and Laurel Park middle schools at a total cost not to exceed $115,000.
  • Approved use of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt K-12 English textbooks at a cost of up to $920,000.

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