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Albemarle Supervisors, School Board Discuss Budget Planning - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Albemarle Supervisors, School Board Discuss Budget Planning

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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va (WVIR) -

After a tough budget season, Albemarle County schools are planning for the future. Schools were facing a nearly $7 million budget deficit. Now they want to make sure that doesn't happen again next year.

The Albemarle County School Board and Board of Supervisors met for the first time Wednesday afternoon to figure out how to come up with a sustainable budget and avoid the financial trouble they found themselves in this year.

Schools had to cut nearly $4 million to balance the budget this year.

"Per pupil, spending is down $300 per student from where we were seven years ago, and most of that shortfall comes from the state,” said Steve Koleszar, Albemarle School Board member.

At first, the deficit was close to $7 million - but supervisors were able to help bail the schools out during a tough budget season.

"Fortunately we had good leadership from the Board of Supervisors in increasing the tax rate by 3.3 cents. Even though it left a shortfall it wasn't as disastrous as it could have been,” said Koleszar.

Now the school board and supervisors will start to meet to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen next year.

Much of the budget shortfall was attributed to a spike in the Virginia Retirement System rate. Koleszar says the state needs to step up.

"I feel like we need to hold the state accountable and they need to get their act together in supporting our adequate funding for K-12 education,” said Koleszar.

With the majority of supervisors being new, the two boards want to make sure they are on the same page when it's time to hash out next year's budget.

"We're in this together to make a better county for the residents in Albemarle County and we can do that if we choose to work together,” said Koleszar.

Wednesday was just the first time schools met with the supervisors since the county budget was approved. The two boards plan to have a retreat to really dig into this issue sometime in July.

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