Albemarle Schools Approve New Budget - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Albemarle Schools Approve New Budget

Posted: Updated: April 26, 2013 01:42 AM EDT

The Albemarle County School Board has finished crunching numbers and approved the operational budget for the next school year.

The board has balanced the budget and successfully closed a nearly $600,000 shortfall.  It was a unanimous vote Thursday night to approve the Albemarle County Schools' $155.3 million operational budget.

Plans to develop curriculums in-house as opposed to buying online software will save schools $93,000. The division also says it can save nearly $150,000 through energy conservation.

"That's really good news because we can make up $145,000 of our shortfall simply by reducing our budgeted amount for electricity and we know that we can meet that target," said Josh Davis, chief operating officer of Albemarle County Public Schools.

Six staff positions were originally supposed to be on hold. Now one of those positions will be moved into emergency staffing in case the elementary schools see a drastic increase in students over the summer. This hold does not impact any current positions.

"We're not cutting any staff, we're not cutting art, music - all of our classrooms are whole, which is wonderful," said Diantha McKeel, school board member.

Because of the energy savings, $86,000 in proposed cuts to the superintendent's central office was avoided.

"At central office we really didn't have any place to cut because we've cut there so much in the past," McKeel said.

Thursday night, the school board decided to revise the differentiated staffing plans because the number of free and reduced lunch students has gone up.

It also voted to appoint Dr. John Werner, the new principal for Western Albemarle High School.

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