Augusta County school leaders dealing with the budget spoke boldly Thursday night with some very real threats.
The meeting started out with a plea from the board’s chairman, asking parents to help and saying teachers need raises and students need technology.
The Augusta County budget is nearly $4 million over with $2.9 million of that in rising Virginia Retirement System and health insurance costs.
The board is talking about closing Verona Elementary School and redistricting on an annual basis to counter the gap. Board members say it’s because they want to give students the best possible education.
"We need the money to do that. We need the technology. Good teachers, good curriculum and technology - that's what we need in Augusta County right now,” said school board member Dana Sensabaugh.
The school board is considering a three-year technology roll-out, which would put computers in all the county middle schools and in Fort Defiance High School in the 2014-2015 school year and in all the high schools by the 2015-2016 school year. By the 2016-2017 school year, they would go in all the elementary schools.
Supervisor Michael Shull said, "We have to look at the whole county situation as far as core services, the sheriff's department and fire and rescue - they're vital needs of the county too.”
The superintendent says he'll present a balanced budget to the board on March 20.
Also at the meeting Thursday night, school board members voted to use spring break dates April 14 through the 16 as snow make-up days.