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Gloucester school board members deliberate on budget

Gloucester School Board members expressed varying opinions during their fiscal year 2017 budget deliberations in a meeting at the T.C. Walker Education Center Tuesday night.

School division superintendent Walter Clemons has proposed a $56,659,179 operating budget for FY2017 that would require $24,500,000 in local funds, an increase of $1,364,570 over the current county contribution.

Clemons’ budget priorities included giving all employees a 6 percent raise at a cost of $2.3 million and adding back eight days to the school calendar, bringing the instructional year to 178 days at a cost of $243,288.

Most divisions operate on a 180-day calendar, which Gloucester did until budget cuts led the board to reduce it to 160 days. Since then, the board has been able to add back only 10 of the lost days.

The reduction in days meant pay cuts for support staff members who do not work when children are not in school, but it did not affect teacher pay.

Before the board’s budget delibe...

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