Albemarle Schools Work to Make Tough Cuts to Budget
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va (WVIR) -
Albemarle County School Board members are making budget cuts they call "painful" to fill a $3.9 million shortfall.
By the time the nearly-four-hour-long work session wrapped up Thursday shortly after 10 p.m., the board had closed most of the funding gap.
The board reviewed different combinations of cuts that could balance the budget. Members voted to reduce discretionary funds - which pay for field trips, substitute teachers, tutoring, and catering in each school - across the board. They also agreed to increase class sizes, which would eliminate eight full-time teaching positions.
Members decided to reduce the proposed 2-percent pay raise for teachers and staff to a 1-percent raise.
“I think we're all sobered by the fact that we have to make cuts. We're going to have to make cuts to things we support. While reluctant, we're just going to need to do it,” said Ned Gallaway, chair of the board.
A few programs survived the cuts, including the new Environmental Studies Academy at Western Albemarle High School and the world language program at Cale Elementary School. Student fees for athletics will not go up.
The school board will hold a work session next Thursday at 6:30 p.m. before adopting a final budget to send to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors. That work session will include time for public comment on the changes made Thursday night.
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