Fredericksburg Schools Superintendent David Melton said he is "cautiously optimistic" that his proposed fiscal year 2013 budget will be balanced by the time he brings it to City Council.
"It is my intetion ... to present a budget to City Council in March that is balanced and requires no additional funding from the city," Melton said. "I think that will be the first time in a long time that has happened."
Melton said because of an enrollment increase, state funding will increase $2.7 million, but that may be the only good news coming from the state. The proposed increase to the Virginia Retirement system is expected to be about $1.4 million and health insurance costs will rise 12 percent or $403,000 extra.
Melton's proposed budget does include several new positions costing just over $600,000, but he said many of those positions are required to meet Standards of Quality measurements. On Sunday, the state Senate and House of Delegates should have their budgets completed and Melton said then he will have a better understanding of how bad the VRS increase will be for the budget.
The 2013-2017 Capital Improvement Plan is in its lowest appropriation among all of the years at $475,000. The projects for the fiscal year 2012-2013 plan are computer technology ($250,000), carpet ($25,000), roof repairs ($15,000), equipment replacements ($30,000), a mobile classroom ($55,000) and roof architectural engineering ($100,000).