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Just the Facts Superintendent's Recommended FY 2018 Budget FAQ

In an effort to remain connected to HCS staff members regarding the development of the FY18 Budget, we have developed the following FAQ document:

Q:  What are the priorities that drove the development of the FY18 budget?

A:  The School Board identified employee compensation and funding for the Academies of Hampton as their top two priorities for this budget cycle.  We also heard this as a priority through the Community Priorities Workshop.

Q: How will the proposed budget impact employee salaries?

A: The proposed budget includes a minimum two percent salary increase for full and part time employees. This excludes flat rate (tutors and groundskeepers) and temporary positions, as well as some part time teaching positions.

Q: Why did the Division decide to provide additional salary adjustments to teachers, bus drivers, automotive/maintenance trades, technology specialists, health services employees and building administrators?

A: These positions are generally difficult to fill and have a higher turnover rate. Addressing the salaries helps the Division remain competitive in these areas.

Q:  Will compensation for other employee groups be addressed?

A:  Adjusting compensation is a multi-year process.  As funds become available, other employee groups will be addressed in a similar fashion.

Q: How will the proposed budget impact teacher salaries?

A: In addition to the two percent salary increase, funds have been designated to increase specific salary steps within the scale. For the current  FY 2017 budget year, adjustments were made to the beginning teacher salary.  For FY 2018, in an effort to become more competitive in recruiting and retaining teachers, the superintendent’s recommended budget proposes a $1,000 increase to the entry of the teacher salary. All other steps on the bachelor's lane of the teacher scale will receive a minimum of a $175 increase over the two percent.  Additionally, the top of the teacher scale has been shortened to 38 years of service. As such, this recommendation will benefit teachers with greater years of experience.

We did make adjustments to the master's lane.  There are currently two pay lanes for teachers who hold a master's degree. A master's lane, which is valued at $1,800, and a master's in field lane, which is valued at $2,600.  Teachers are assigned to the master's lane if they have a master's degree related to education, but unrelated to what they are teaching (e.g., administration and supervision).  Teachers are assigned to the master's in field lane if they have a master's degree related to what they are teaching (e.g., curriculum & instruction).  

Effective July 1, 2017, the master's lane and the master's in field lane will be combined into one scale with a value of $2,600.  It also means employees on the advanced degree lanes that are based on the master's degree will move to the advanced degree lanes that are based on the higher scale.  

A copy of the proposed scale can be located here:

Q: How will the proposed budget impact bus driver salaries?

A: In addition to the two percent salary increase, bus drivers will receive an additional $1 per hour.

Q: How will the proposed budget impact the salaries of automotive/maintenance trade employees?

A: In addition to the two percent salary increase, these employees will receive an additional 50 cents per hour.

Q: How will the proposed budget impact the salaries of technology specialists?

A: In addition to the two percent salary increase, technology specialists will receive an additional 50 cents per hour.

See following links to proposed salary schedules:

Q:  What is a compression adjustment?

A: Compression occurs when the salary differential between employees with limited years of experience and employees with greater years of experience is minimal.  For instance, Employee A has two years of experience.  Employee B has six years of experience.  However, the salary difference between Employee A and Employee B is only $250. The goal of compression adjustments is to appropriately compensate for employee experience.

Q: How will the proposed budget impact the salaries of health services employees?

A: In addition to the two percent salary increase, all health services employees will receive an additional increase based on a comparison of years of experience versus current salary.   Employees receiving a compression adjustment will receive more specific information  when letters of employment are distributed on May 5, 2017.

Q: How will the proposed budget impact the salaries of building administrators?

A: In addition to the two percent salary increase, some building administrators will receive an additional amount based on a comparison of years of experience versus current salary.  Employees receiving a compression adjustment will receive more specific information when contracts are distributed on May 5, 2017.

Q: Will my health insurance change next year?

A: Yes. In an effort to mitigate significant increases in the cost of health insurance  to employees and the Division, a request for proposal was issued for health insurance earlier this year.  In order to ensure representation from various employee groups, a committee was formed to review and evaluate each of the proposals.  The health insurance committee recommended Cigna, which provides an economical plan with options and provider networks that are similar to our current healthcare plan - balancing cost and still allowing provider choice. More information on the change to our health insurance provider will be shared at the Superintendent’s Town Hall Meetings.

Q: Does the proposed budget eliminate programs?

A: No

Q: Why does the budget include a reduction in staff?

A: All of the teacher staff reductions are enrollment-driven. As we experience a loss in enrollment, we have the opportunity to right size our staff to appropriately address enrollment loss.  Other staffing reductions are based on greater operational efficiencies.   Some of the positions being eliminated are currently vacant.

Q: Why do the budget additions include funding for the Academies of Hampton?

A: It is necessary to transform our high schools in order to ensure we optimize and prepare our students for the future. This is more than an initiative. Rather, it will transform the manner in which we educate young people by having the business community and other partners at the table to ensure relevance in the classroom as we optimize the learning experience for students. Transforming our high schools through the Academies of Hampton aligns with two of the Division’s strategic goals: Maximize Every Child’s Learning and Safe and Nurturing Environments.  This transformation will require extensive professional development, as well as equipment and supplies to support the new learning environment.  The funds allocated to this transformation in FY18 are coming from one-time funds provided by the City of Hampton.

Q:  What is the bottom line for how the division arrived at the total FY18 budget amount?

A: The overall budget increase of $3.2M consists of the following:

$4.37M Priorities, 3.12M Pressures, 0.24M Additions, (4.58M) Savings & Reductions

Q: How can I find out more information on the proposed budget?

A: Superintendent Dr. Jeffery Smith has set aside the following times, dates and locations for employee town hall meetings to discuss the FY18 budget and the change in health insurance provider.  You are welcome to attend a meeting at any location.

Monday, March 13 - 3:30 p.m. at Hampton High School -Auditorium

Tuesday, March 14 - 4:00 p.m. at Kecoughtan High School - Shifflette Auditorium

Tuesday, March 14 -  5:30 p.m. at Syms Middle School - Auditorium

Thursday, March 16 - 3:30 p.m. at Phenix Pre-K - 8 - Cafeteria 

Thursday, March 16 - 5:00 p.m. at Spratley Gifted Center - Auditorium

Q:  What if I still have questions after reviewing this budget summary information?

A:  If you still have questions, you may email them to

March 8, 2017

Superintendent Dr. Jeffery Smith shared the proposed operating (Fund 50) budget for FY 18 with the Hampton School Board on March 8. Smith said budget decisions were analyzed through the lens of how the funding advances our strategic goals.

Smith said the following four goals helped guide the budgeting process:
·      Attract, Develop and Retain Exceptional Employees
·      Maximize Every Child’s Learning
·      Safe and Nurturing Environment
·      Effective and Efficient Management of Fiscal Resources

In the area of employee compensation, the proposed budget includes a minimum two percent increase for full and part time employees (excludes flat rate and temporary positions, as well as some part time teaching positions). In addition, funds have been allocated to address the teacher salary scale (above the two percent). Furthermore, funds have been allocated to address targeted compression and market issues (above the two percent) for the following groups: bus drivers, $1.00 per hour; and automotive/maintenance trades and school technology specialists, 50 cents per hour. Also, targeted compression adjustments have been made for health services employees and building administrators.

Smith added that employees would also experience a change in health care providers. The school division issued a request for proposal for health insurance in late 2016. Informational meetings have been set up for employees. In addition, details of these changes will be shared with the School Board on March 22.

State revenue will include an increase from 15.77 percent to 17.55 percent to fund the actuarially required rate for the Virginia Retirement System, a Supplemental Lottery per pupil increase from $52.56 to $274.12; and a compensation supplement effective Feb. 15, 2018, for Standards of Quality-funded positions.

The Division expects to experience a $100,000 decrease in Medicaid revenue, and a local contribution (City of Hampton) increase of $1,565,000. The total amount of increase for state and other revenue is $3,209,690.

Expenditure pressures include VRS rate changes, health insurance, Internet protection software, New Horizons, Erate changes, mandated instructional assistants, legal fees, Virginia Public School Authority, Academies Partnership, Warwick Plumbing and Heating contract renewal, VRS Hybrid Plan Disability Insurance, and interpreters.

Expenditure savings include city costs and per pupil allocations.

Smith said budget additions in the area of personnel include the two percent compensation increase, adjustments to address targeted compression/market issues, four Academies of Hampton coaches, temporary employees and Academies curriculum writing, temporary employees and transportation. Non-personnel budget additions include Academies of Hampton, professional development, bandwidth increase, mileage, contingency and other fixed costs.

Budget reductions include eight-and-a-half high school teaching positions, eight middle school teaching positions, three secretarial positions, 10 part-time bus driver positions (currently vacant), PBIS coordinator, and a school technology specialist. In addition, 70 percent of the funding for the organizational effectiveness coordinator will be moved to Title II.

Non-personnel reductions include a 30 percent decrease to department budgets (exclusive of contracts and fixed costs), textbooks, unemployment insurance, and a reduction of the subsidy to Fund 94 (student activities).

The FY 18 Proposed Operating Budget is $203,660,107. Of this budget, $4.37 million is dedicated to funding division priorities, and $240,000 will fund operational additions. The budget represents $3.12 million in cost pressures, as well as $4.58 million in savings and reductions.

Public hearings on the proposed budget will be held at 6:30 p.m. on March 15 and March 22 at Jones Magnet Middle School. The Board is expected to approve the budget on March 29.

A copy of the proposed budget presentation can be found here:

Proposed 2017-2018 Pay Scales

Superintendent’s Recommended Budget for 2017-18


Did you know the HCS School Board identified two priorities to guide the FY budget development process? The two priorities include employee compensation and the Academies of Hampton.

Did you know that the approved General Assembly Budget includes a 2% raise for all Standards of Quality (SOQ) funded positions beginning February 15, 2018, but that HCS is allocating additional dollars so that this raise can start as soon as the new fiscal year begins? While HCS is receiving state funding in the amount of $613,832 for this raise, the cost for us to provide the same increase for full and part-time employees* for the entire year is actually $2,734,546.

Did you know that in addition to the 2% minimum salary increase in the Superintendent's Recommended Budget for 2017-18, approximately 1,100 teachers (about 75% of all HCS teachers) will receive adjustments to their salaries? Additionally, approximately 350 other staff members will receive adjustments to their pay. These additional funds have been earmarked to address compression issues and/or lagging pay based on regional market comparisons.

Did you know that the mandatory increase in the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) rate is costing HCS nearly $2 million more next school year, while the state funding for this expenditure pressure increase to HCS is only $800,000?

Did you know the Superintendent's Recommended Budget for 2017-18 includes $628,157 to support the transformation of our high schools via the continued growth of the Academies of Hampton model? This amount includes one-time funding in the amount of $265,000 from the City of Hampton.

(*Pay rates for temporary positions were not adjusted.)

We appreciate your support as the School Board and administrative staff work to build budgets in these tough economic times that impact our city, our state, and our nation. 

Please continue to share your thoughts and comments by emailing

Superintendent’s Recommended Budget 2018

Did You Know?

©2017 HAMPTON CITY SCHOOLS All rights reserved - One Franklin Street, Hampton Virginia 23669 - 757-727-2000

HCS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age or other protected classes in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Robbin G. Ruth, Executive Director, Human Resources, One Franklin Street, Hampton, VA 23669 757-727-2000. 



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