Drastic changes may be coming to Fluvanna County Public Schools this school year. Serious budget constraints could lead to school closings, layoffs or four-day weeks.
School district officials are ready to do anything they can to make up for $308,173of lost money, even if that means closing some schools. Edward Breslauer, the director of finance for Fluvanna County Public Schools, says the loss comes from several unexpected expenses.
Breslauer says they had to pay thousands of dollars to break down and remove 27 of the old trailers, which were used before the new high school. Additionally, he says that when the calculations were done for the cost of fuel to heat the new high school there was an inaccuracy and the district is now paying more than expected. Finally, he says the school district changed their health insurance to save money but they have $200,000 of one-out claims from their old plan.
The school board has laid out over a dozen options to solve the budget problem. A few of the options are to close the doors of Columbia or Cunningham schools, switch to a 4-day week, stop bus services or eliminate teachers.
Breslauer says each decision that affects teachers will also affect students: "That means you have potentially 25 little lives in January may suddenly walk in and instead of Ms. Smith, it's Ms. Andrews sitting in there and that's their new teacher; that has an impact on students."
The director of finance says the school board wants community input on which option they want the school to go forward with in January. The public meeting will be Monday October 29 at 7 p.m.