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Fluvanna BOS to Talk Funding Options for Schools' Shortfall - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Fluvanna BOS to Talk Funding Options for Schools' Budget Shortfall

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Fluvanna taxpayers will have to fill a void for county schools after state funding fell short. It's another budget hit for a school system and county vowing to work together better.

The state didn't deliver final funding figures for last school year's budget to Fluvanna until June 17. That shortfall leaves the school system's budget out of balance.

"We have no wiggle room," said Gena Keller, Fluvanna County Public Schools superintendent.

The state funding shortfall leaves Fluvanna County Public Schools about $500,000 in the red.

"Many school divisions have been in a place where you backfill it on your own, because you've got some contingency. We just don't," said Keller.

Final funding figures from the state came in less than the schools expected to close out the 2012-2013 budget year. Most of that deficit is due to a decrease in Fluvanna County's average daily membership - which is the state's funding formula based on student headcounts.

"Our local government, our local people, are having to fund things I believe are the state's responsibility to kick it up a notch," said Keller.

An increase in local funding and unspent school cash fill part of the shortfall. The remaining $449,000 will come from county contingency funds and departments that ended the fiscal year with a surplus.

"We just don't happen to have any cushion left in the schools budget this year, so we're tapping other areas of the budget from that year from other program areas besides schools," said Steve Nichols, Fluvanna County administrator.  

The county and the schools hope to avoid future budget battles through closer coordination.

"We've worked very closely together to start rebuilding our budget and to start looking at what it takes to have a healthy budget that's sustainable," said Keller.

The Board of Supervisors will consider shifting funds to the schools from six line items during their meeting Wednesday afternoon, which starts at 2 p.m. 

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