Fluvanna County, School System Work on Budgets

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The state budget stalemate is causing a holdup for localities and schools trying to figure out their own budgets.

Fluvanna County supervisors and schools met separately Wednesday night to hammer out their budgets. The school system approved the budget proposed by Superintendent Gena Keller. She will present that budget next week to supervisors.

The schools have had some trouble in recent years. Keller says that the county still has financial challenges, but it's nothing like what we saw during the most recent fiscal years.

Keller says there's no longer a feeling of mistrust and people are asking more questions about the process.

“It's not unique to Fluvanna to be in tough budget times; it's all over,” said Keller.

The Fluvanna County School Board crunched the numbers Wednesday night for the fiscal year 2014-2015 budget, one week before the superintendent presents it to supervisors.

“We're going to have $780,000 additional for the state. That sounds like a really nice windfall until you realize where all that money goes, and I'm going to take time to explain that to the Board of Supervisors,” said Keller.

Keller will ask the board for $1.67 million to cover the current deficit. She's not certain if schools will get all of that, but says they have a strong case.

"It includes moving the VRS required contribution and giving our staff the .06 hold harmless raise,” said Keller.

School board members are also focused on adding some banked time to next year's calendar, partially because of this winter.

"What we want to do with our calendar tonight is to approve a calendar that banks up to 10 days versus just the five or six and that also uses two of the spring break dates, not all of it,” said Keller.

Fluvanna has missed 12 days because of inclement weather, so students will go to class after Memorial Day. Keller would like to see a different model moving forward.

"For us, once that Memorial Day hits and students are in that mode that school's out, it's hard,” said Keller.

The Board of Supervisors also had its first budget meeting Wednesday, which should give members a clearer picture of the county's overall standing.

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