The less-than-suggested tax hike approved by the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors means less money for county schools. With a multi-million-dollar deficit, schools are facing some tough decisions, and parents and teachers alike are worried about what's going to happen in the classroom next year.
Albemarle schools still have to close a nearly $4 million budget deficit by next week.
"I'm a little bit frustrated at this point obviously because I'm not sure where it's going to lead and I just hope it's in the best interest with all of us,” said parent Jennifer McCune.
McCune has three kids at Albemarle County schools - one at Sutherland Middle School and two at Hollymead Elementary School - and she's worried about what's in store over the next nine days as the school board chips away at a $3.9 million budget shortfall.
"What I want to see for them is that they have the great opportunities that we all have had and looking at not increasing these class sizes to 40 students per class,” McCune said.
The Board of Supervisors raised the tax rate Tuesday to help fill that gap, but it's not as much as the school board asked for.
"It means fewer textbooks, it means fewer field trips, it means fewer opportunities for children,” said school board member Steve Kolezar.
Teachers at Albemarle High School are gearing up for some cuts. Teresa Tyler, who teaches English, says she's worried budget cuts could affect students.
“I don't see any way when they're going back and going through the school budget that they're going to not lose staff, affect class size, affect students,” Tyler said.
Tracy Aglio, who also teaches English at Albemarle, says she's disappointed about supervisors’ decision.
“We were hoping that it would more fully close the gap. We kind of knew they wouldn't fully fund it but we were anticipating a little more,” Aglio said.
Both of those teachers are worried about bigger class sizes. They say a few more students in each class means less one-on-one time with each student.
The school board has a meeting to adopt its budget next Thursday.
Reported by Sean Cudahy
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