No Easy Choice: Fluvanna School Board Considers Budget Options - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

No Easy Choice: Fluvanna School Board Considers Budget Options

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Fluvanna County teachers are learning the options on the table to bridge a $308,173 budget gap.  There were more than 15 options up for discussion Thursday night, and it was clear there is really no such thing as a good choice in this situation.

Although it was a meeting that didn't have any public comment, Fluvanna County teachers made sure their signs did all the talking.

"I feel like as though we are being pushed back to the level we were when I started 25 years ago," said Cheryl Daidone, a Fluvanna County teacher.

"Our pay was cut, I'm sorry it was frozen years ago, and then it was reduced, and this year we have furloughs and reduced benefits," said Perrie Johnson, another Fluvanna County teacher.  "And we need the school board to consider other areas to cut their expenses and not keep laying the burden on the teachers."

The budget work session allowed the Fluvanna County School Board to see the results of the staff survey - an opportunity for employees to choose which options they want considered to make up for the deficit.  Eliminating two division-level administrator positions and going to a four-day school week received the highest responses for consideration.

"I certainly was not in favor of any more furlough days as educators," Daidone said.  "There were other choices I thought would save more money and take the burden off of the teachers."

Those toward the bottom of the list included getting rid of pre-K and six staff positions, eliminating transportation, and cutting sports - ideas that some board members wanted to take off the table completely.

"I personally would not like to see us cut any jobs in the middle of the year," said Bertha Armstrong with the Fluvanna County School Board.  "I think that would be a disastrous thing for staff."

"I understand the teachers are feeling that they are being shortchanged and it's truly not what we're trying to do. What we're trying to do is find a solution to get us through the rest of the year," said Brenda Pace with the Fluvanna County School Board.

Facing a laundry list of tough choices, there was no avoiding the fact that no matter what the board decides, something important will have to give.

Whatever options the school board chooses will go into effect on January 2, 2013.  It is scheduled to vote at its monthly meeting next Wednesday on November 7.

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