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Budget & Finance

HCPS continues to use federal American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief  — or ESSER — funds to augment student learning through enrichment and focused support. Programs supported by ESSER funding help struggling students build on their existing knowledge and skills. The $78.32 million HCPS received in the third installment of ESSER money is being used strategically for remediation, tutoring and critical staffing to meet student needs and other initiatives. The comprehensive ESSER III spending plan approved by the School Board and Board of Supervisors in 2021 is updated as needed to reflect administrative amendments within the allocated funds.

American Rescue Plan Act ESSER III Spending Plan
American Rescue Plan Act ESSER III Spending Plan

  • Dear Henrico colleagues, families, students, community stakeholders and friends,

    It is hard to believe that we are now in our third year of the coronavirus pandemic, continuing to overcome personal and collective challenges to keep our families and our school community safe and strong, and our students learning in person. Developing a balanced, needs-based budget amid a global pandemic is not a simple task. We are continually reminded of the importance of having the proper resources in place to respond to any circumstance while providing high-quality learning experiences for all students. Using the division’s strategic plan, Destination 2025, as our guide, we have developed a spending plan that supports our goals of academic excellence; inclusive, supportive and safe learning environments; and providing adequate support and benefits to recruit and retain a team of exemplary educators and staff. 

    While our fiscal approach remains conservative, we are committed to providing innovative instructional programs, real-world experiences for students, and wraparound services to support the whole child. To that end, this FY2023 budget proposal includes a significant investment in our incredible employees, funding for new environmental studies and health and human services specialty centers, ongoing implementation of the division’s literacy initiative and the expansion of An Achievable Dream Academy to include seventh grade. On the operational side, you will see funding for continued use of layered COVID-19 mitigation strategies and support for much-needed enhancements to learning spaces. To plan for the expiration of ESSER and other one-time federal funds, we are also incorporating positions and resources previously supported through these federal grants into the operating budget to support sustainability for essential functions. 

    This Recommended Annual Financial Plan, totaling $583,956,057, reflects an increase of $23 million (4.1%) compared to the current budget and invests in important areas such as: 

    • Covering the full cost of increasing group health care premiums instead of passing a portion of this cost to employees. 
    • Health and safety positions, including nurses, psychologists, social workers and school counselors. 
    • Additional instructional staffing, including English as a Second Language, exceptional education and gifted and talented programs. 
    • Funding to increase the number of permanent substitutes at schools. 
    • Converting 40 exceptional education instructional assistants from temporary to full time. 
    • Career Ladders funding to recognize advanced professional credentials and professional learning achievements. 
    • Extended contracts for some bus drivers, additional bus assistant positions, and safety and attendance bonus pay for eligible transportation staff. 
    • New specialty centers at Varina and Hermitage high schools; and 
    • Achievable Dream Academy expansion to the seventh grade. 

    Because we have a unified pay plan, HCPS employee raises are considered along with Henrico County staff compensation as the municipal budget is developed. For now, please know that our goal is to provide additional compensation for all staff. The School Board and I value the extraordinary efforts, professional expertise and commitment of our employees. Our county partners also recognize your incredible service to our community and have indicated their appreciation and desire to compensate staff as well.

    This Recommended Annual Financial Plan will be presented to the School Board on Jan. 27, followed by a series of public discussions and potential revisions by the School Board before it is approved later this spring. The County Board of Supervisors will then adopt the school funding plan as part of the larger municipal budget. 

    I would like to express my appreciation to school division staff as well as County Manager John Vithoulkas and his staff for their assistance in developing this plan. Working together, we will continue to invest in our greatest resource for the future – the young people of Henrico County. 

    Sincerely, 

    Amy E. Cashwell, Ed. D. 
    Superintendent of Schools