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To read the School Board's proposed Operating Budget for 2013-2014, visit the NPS Budget Department's Web site at www.npsk12.com/bgt.
The School Board's approved Operating Budget for 2013-2014 has been forwarded to the City Council for review.
The Board approved a budget on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 that totals nearly $308.9 million, with $114.4 million in local funds requested. The budget will require the City Council also to approve a re-appropriation of $5.4 million in projected savings from the current fiscal year, expected to be achieved through targeted spending reductions.
"This budget has been created with the intent of positioning our organization at a level to begin moving forward with the work that is necessary for student achievement," said Superintendent Dr. Samuel T. King.
The budget provides a 2 percent salary increase for all staff, and preserves instructional positions that had earlier been discussed for reduction. The Board's approved budget also would add one reading and math specialist at each elementary and middle school in Norfolk. The budget reduces Central Administration by 38 positions valued at $2.3 million.
The Board and Dr. King aligned the budget with Board and Division Priorities for the current school year, which are:
1. Ensure full accreditation
2. Increase academic achievement of all students
3. Improve climate, safety and attendance
4. Become a School Board of Distinction
5. Promote Norfolk Public Schools to reflect the outstanding accomplishments of staff, teachers and students
6. Develop and coordinate a capital improvement plan for facilities and technology to enhance teaching and learning
7. Attract, retain, and help to develop strong academic families and highly qualified teachers and staff
The budget also prepares the school division to successfully progress on five strategies that will be a foundation of NPS' new five-year strategic plan, which is in development now and is scheduled to take effect July 1, 2013. Those strategies are:
1. We will promote NPS as the cornerstone of our community’s well-being.
2. We will empower and facilitate meaningful family and community partnerships.
3. We will relentlessly pursue engaged learning through high-quality instruction.
4. We will host environments in which all individuals feel safe and secure.
5. We will nurture a culture of excellence, equity and justice through continuous improvement.
In his letter to the City Council, School Board Chairman Dr. Kirk T. Houston, Sr. said, "We believe that Norfolk Public Schools is on the right path to become the cornerstone of this proudly diverse community, ensuring that all students maximize their academic potential, develop skills for lifelong learning and grow up to be successful contributors to a global society. We also believe that successful public schools are the foremost opportunity for economic development and community well-being. Therefore, we respectfully request that the City Council make this investment in our schools so that we can all celebrate our aspirations becoming a reality."
In return for the City's investment, the Board and Administration have committed to outcomes including that NPS will target a 10 percent increase in the percentage of students meeting or exceeding state standards, and a decrease in out-of-school suspensions as a result of improved school climates and student behaviors. The administration also will improve technology infrastructure, and provide additional safety nets for students struggling to meet standards, and enrichment opportunities for students exceeding standards. NPS also is implementing a plan to improve the program for gifted learners by realigning existing resources to more effectively serve those students.
"This has been a very difficult process over the past three or four years, with dwindling resources, decreased support from the state and rising expenses," Dr. Houston said. "I think we have asked the right questions, and I think we have turned over the right stones. I appreciate the hard work of our Superintendent, the Board, and our stakeholders who have continued to ask questions and provide support."