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Berkeley schools budget tops $100 million

May 03, 2005|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A budget was approved Monday night for Berkeley County Schools that anticipates continued student enrollment increases in the school system and starts preparing the district for the opening of a new intermediate school near Gerrardstown, W.Va.

The Berkeley County Board of Education passed a 2006 budget that contains a $100.9 million general revenue fund, the first time the fund has passed the $100 million mark, said Jim Welton, a financial consultant for Berkeley County Schools.

Last year, the general revenue fund totaled $92.4 million, Welton said.

The Board of Education passed the budget on a 4-1 vote. Board member Patrick Murphy cast the dissenting vote.

Murphy said he voted against the budget because he is concerned about the amount of overtime some teachers are putting in every week, adding that some teachers are working up to 16 hours overtime a week.

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Murphy said he would like to find a way to fund more teacher aides to help teachers with their work.

The budget will allow school officials to begin hiring more personnel for increased enrollment and allow the district to hire personnel for the Mountain Ridge Intermediate School, which will be along W.Va. 51 east of Gerrardstown.

The school is scheduled to open this fall.

The budget sets aside money for additional portable classrooms which will be needed and funds anticipated increases in textbook costs, Welton said.

The spending plan also will offset increased energy and insurance costs, Welton said.

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