Cville School Board, Council to Discuss Budget Shortfall - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Cville School Board, Council to Discuss Budget Shortfall

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Charlottesville schools are fighting to overcome a $1.7 million shortfall for next year, and they are preparing for a big meeting with City Council.

The Charlottesville School Board will present $1 million in budget cuts to City Council on Friday, but councilors still say that's not enough. 

The school board is wrestling with tough cuts to balance next year's budget.

"We're reducing some administrative staff at some of the schools, we're combining some of the programs, we're reassigning some staff.  We're going to do it but we need some help," said Juan Wade, member of the Charlottesville School Board.

City Council has already agreed to give the school board an additional $1.9 million for next year, but the board is asking for another $800,000.

That adds up to $2.7 million, only $300,000 shy of the one-time funding the school board received from City Council last year.

"We have as a school board have no way of generating revenue and we are getting less money from the state and from the federal government and our only source at this point is the City Council," said Wade.

But City Councilor Dede Smith says the school board hasn't used last year's $3 million in one-time funding effectively.

"They've had all this year to deal with this deficit and I feel like we really haven't gotten that far," said Smith.

Smith says if City Council doesn't use tough love with the school board, this unsustainable cycle will keep repeating itself.

"It's time that we see some real leadership on the school board's part to look at what our new reality is and how we are going to deal with that financially," said Smith.  

The school board says the cuts they're making are excruciating enough.

"We feel confident that we have done everything that we can do and all we can do is ask that they help us out a little bit more," said Wade.

The school board will hash out next year's budget with City Council Friday at their joint meeting. The meeting starts at 12 p.m. at City Hall.

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