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Fluvanna Parents Renew Funding Fight Ahead of Board Meeting - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Fluvanna Parents Renew Funding Fight Ahead of Board Meeting

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Monday night, the Fluvanna County Public Schools superintendent tells NBC29 she's encouraged that new funding could come from supervisors to reverse previous cuts.  This progress comes as parents prepare to fill Tuesday's board meeting.

A breakthrough in this standoff between the board of supervisors and the school board could come in the next 24 hours.  That's when parents will hand deliver a petition to supervisors demanding more money for schools.

Bridgette Madison is a parent teacher organization (PTO) president and mom.  She said, "Next year, I'll have one at all four schools."

Her dining room table is the Monday meeting spot for Fluvanna County parents and neighbors concerned about the future of school funding from the county board of supervisors.

Madison said, "Frustrating.  Scary.  It's infuriating the way the whole process was handled."

Their battle began in the spring budget process.  Now, the Focus on Fluvanna's Future grassroots group is renewing its fight.

"People are no longer afraid to speak up," said Katy Clossin with Focus on Fluvanna's Future.

A petition has collected more than 800 signatures since last Sunday.  They're insisting supervisors shift $300,000 from the county's $8.1 million reserve to cover a deficit in the schools.  That could restore furlough days approved by the school board earlier this month.

"That's three furlough days removed," said Bill Sullivan with Focus on Fluvanna's Future.  "That's three extra days our kids are in schools.  And it's three more days teachers get paid as opposed to having their salaries cut."

"We're seeing salary losses, take-home pay losses of up to 20 percent for some of our staff and that's devastating to them," said Kerry Murphy-Hammond with Focus on Fluvanna's Future. 

Fluvanna County's superintendent tells NBC29 she and school board members are involved in "promising" talks with supervisors to restore funding to get through the rest of this school year.

"I think there's a real lack of understanding," Murphy-Hammond said.  There's a lack of trust.  And those two groups really need to come together to rebuild that relationship, so we're never in this spot again."

Madison fears more cuts could come if supervisors don't start a respectful conversation with parents and schools.  She said, "Hopefully they will take care of what needs to be taken care of this year, and they can work together as our elected county officials to do the right thing and take care of the citizens."

Supervisors meet Tuesday night at 7:00.  The meeting is still scheduled for the county courthouse, but that could change if the crowd is too big.  We'll keep you posted. 

Both boards have a work session December 5 to discuss the budget problems face to face.

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