RADFORD – The Radford City School Board voted Tuesday to award RCS Superintendent Dr. Chuck Bishop a new four-year contract.
Friday, Bishop said he is looking forward to continuing to serve Radford City Schools.
“I am very thankful that the board continues to have confidence in my abilities to lead the school division,” he said. “Public education is a very difficult field right now with decreasing budgets and increasing accountability; however, I believe we are well positioned to meet the challenge. I look forward to continuing to serve the Radford community for years to come.”
Tuesday’s meeting also included the annual public budget hearing, allowing citizens, school staff members and others the chance to relay budget priorities to the school board. This year, Radford Education Association representative Frances Hunter was the only speaker, and told board members she hopes they can preserve the jobs of all school system employees in the upcoming budget year, as well as fund the salary increases in the salary scales used by the school system. Bishop said the budget year will not be an easy one.
“There is no doubt that this budget season will be extremely difficult,” Bishop said. “Last year, the school board put all of its efforts into maintaining our staff. While the REA priorities are very reasonable, it will be a major struggle to meet those requests.”
“Funding the teacher salary scale will require a commitment of a little more than $169,000,” he continued. “This figure does not include any increase for support staff or administrators.”
Bishop said the school system is also likely to face increases in health insurance premiums and its contributions to the Virginia Retirement System.
“Health insurance premiums will more than likely increase this year as well,” Bishop continued. “In addition, the VA Retirement System Board has already certified an increase in rates for next year. Although those rates are ultimately set by the General Assembly, I would be surprised if they do not go up this year in order to fund some of the loss VRS has experienced in the market.”
Still, Bishop said, he and the board will do their best to create a budget everyone can live with.
“Since coming to Radford, I have worked very closely with REA and will continue to do so through this budget,” he said.