Albemarle School Board Prepares for Larger Budget Deficit

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Albemarle County Public Schools are grappling with potentially even more bad budget news.

The county hosted a community budget meeting at Jack Jouett Middle School on Tuesday, March 6. At the meeting, school leaders said that state lawmakers eliminated "hold harmless" funding from the governor's budget. Hold harmless funds provide that no district will get less money in the new funding year than it got in the previous year. In this case, it would offset the composite index revision and have a negative effect on Albemarle County schools.

If approved by the governor, Albemarle schools could lose $6 million in state revenue over a two-year period.

"You can ask me in a month or so how we're going to bridge the gap,” says Kate Acuff, the chair of the Albemarle County School Board. “We, of course, have to bridge the gap because we have to have a balanced budget. At this point we're still hopeful the governor could restore some funding after both houses in the General Assembly passed their budgets, but we're not going to count on that at this point."

The school division currently has a deficit of $1.2 million for the upcoming budget. The final community budget meeting is set for Tuesday, March 13.

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