Superintendent DeBolt asks for bigger share of M. Park budget

In the hope of offering more competitive salaries and hiring more employees, the Manassas Park School Board and superintendent of schools are hoping for a bigger share of city revenue.

In a liaison meeting between school officials and the City Council, Superintendent Thomas DeBolt presented his 2004 budget of $21.3 million — an increase from fiscal 2003 budget of $19.1 million.

“I think we’ve made quite a fair and reasonable budget presentation,” DeBolt said. “Anything short of this will do damage to the school system.”

The school division currently receives 49.6 percent from the city’s “uncommitted funds,” which are allocated from local and general property taxes. The agreement was developed in 2002. DeBolt and the School Board want to amend the agreement to 53.1 percent.

According to the current revenue sharing agreement, Manassas Park schools would receive about $8.1 million from the city’s total revenues in 2004, according to estimates by City Manager David Reynal. He took in account a seven-cent tax rate decrease to $1.30 per $100 of assessed property.

Estimated school revenue in 2004 includes $10.9 million from state dollars. City revenues would be $9 million if the higher sharing agreement is approved, an increase of $1.3 million fiscal 2003.

In comparison, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors and the School Board have a revenue sharing agreement of 56.75 percent. In Manassas, the revenue sharing agreement is 56.25 percent.

“[The revenue sharing] was agreed to last year and put in place — and we’re tweaking it this year,” said Frank Jones, Manassas Park School Board chairman.

Manassas Park Mayor Bill Treuting will be reviewing projected student enrollment in the future to determine the outlook for the school division’s amendment request, he said.

DeBolt will be present his 2004 budget to the School Board on Wednesday. The School Board is scheduled to approve the budget by April 1.

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