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Budget Battles May Continue for Fluvanna Schools & Supervisors - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Budget Battles May Continue for Fluvanna Schools & Supervisors

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Fluvanna County supervisors voted 4-1 Tuesday night to help fill a massive shortfall in the school budget, but this is only a temporary fix, with much more work ahead.

Tuesday night's vote handed over a one-time sum of about $300,000 to keep schools afloat this year.  But that money won't be there next year, which means it is back to the discussion table for school and county leaders.

Despite what some have called a "tricky" relationship, Fluvanna County schools got what they wanted from county supervisors Tuesday night. Fluvanna County Schools Superintendent Gena Keller says the county is taking steps in the right direction.

"It's a way for two boards to come together and be a little more, a lot more solution focused," Keller said. 

The money will come out of county reserves, but it is only a one-time deal.  Next year, difficult decisions will have to be made.

Keller said, "So what we're going to have to do is look at all programs, what's funded, what's required."

Keller says two elementary schools could find themselves on the chopping block again next year.  "We're going to have to look at the reality that faces us looking at Cunningham and Columbia," she said.

Administrators will not consider passing along Virginia Retirement System (VRS) life insurance costs to employees, or more furloughs.

Keller said, "We will not look at furloughs, we don't, we've got to stop doing that to our staff."

School and county leaders will begin new budget discussions next month, but Keller says it's on the county to find a way to better support itself.

"Have a plan, planned growth, planned tax base so that you can provide services, schools being one of them," she said.  "It's just easy to assume in our busy lives that things are okay, and that they're going to be taken care of. Well they haven't been, and we have a responsibility…to really turn this around."

The money the schools received Tuesday night will help them avoid three of four scheduled furlough days next semester. 

Now attention turns to a public work session December 5.  That's when school and county leaders will meet to begin discussing next year's budget.  All parties involved are hoping the frustrations experienced this year can and will be avoided.

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