Details Emerge on Albemarle County Public Schools' Deficit in Budget

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More information is coming out about the deficit Albemarle County Public Schools could face in the next budget.

The school system is expecting to receive $2-3 million less from the state this year than it usually expects.

That shortfall is expected because of the state's composite index, which dictates how much money each school district can expect to receive.

The composite index is a formula used to figure out how much each school system is able to pay on its own.

Every two years, that index is recalculated based on property value, adjusted gross income, and retail sales.

But school board officials say this recalculated index doesn’t take into account a couple of very important items.

First, the Albemarle County’s land use program is absent from the calculations.

Some people who own a lot of undeveloped land enjoy generous tax breaks, and that means less money to the county.

Second, the county has a revenue-sharing obligation to Charlottesville that forces it to hand over cash to the city.

“The good news is that our county is economically doing great - the property values, the retail taxes, personal income all went up - the bad news is it looks like we're much more able to pay for schools and the state's contribution is therefore going to go down,” says Kate Acuff, the school board chair of ACPS.

School officials say 70 percent of the revenue the school receives comes from the county, while 27 percent comes from the state, and less than 2 percent from the federal government.

The school board has not yet received the report for local revenue, but the first step in the budget will take place on Thursday, January 18, when the school superintendent presents a funding request to the school board.