Charlottesville City Council Meets with School Board - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Charlottesville City Council Meets with School Board, Talks Budget

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The school year just started but Charlottesville school officials are thinking ahead. On Friday, city council and the school board had their first meeting to plan for next year.

The school board says they're off to a great start this year, but 2013 could bring budget cuts and other funding challenges. They met with Charlottesville City Council to prepare for upcoming hurdles on Friday.

The Charlottesville School Board says enrollment is up, but next year the schools will no longer have the benefits of one-time funding sources or federal stimulus money. And with potential budget cuts looming, funding will be tight.

Charlottesville School Board Chair Ned Michie said, "Just to keep doing what we're doing, there's problems."

Last year the school board worked with city council to close a $3 million deficit. This year, the school board is facing a $4 million deficit. The school board and city council came together Friday to begin discussing how to close the gap.

"This is going to be another tough budget year and we wanted to start talking with city council earlier this year than in the normal course that we do," said Michie.

Charlottesville City Councilor Kristin Szakos said, "This is a way for the city council and the school board to get together and really kind of dig into what the issues are."

Szakos says investing in schools is investing in Charlottesville's future leaders.

"We want to make sure that all of our kids have choices and so we need to make sure that we educate them well," she said. 

The budget numbers discussed Friday were very preliminary.  This meeting is a jump-start to a series of meetings between the school board and city council to plan for the upcoming school year.

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