Charlottesville's School Board Approves Budget

By: Venton D. Blandin
By: Venton D. Blandin

March 9, 2005

After a four-hour budget meeting on Wednesday, March 9, members of the Charlottesville City School Board are breathing a sigh of relief.

The school board finally got their numbers to match, and the budget proposal for next year was passed. The vote was unanimous.

As usual, the Charlottesville City School Board sat for a roundtable discussion inside the library at Charlottesville High School to talk about the challenges of the growing school system.

Since January 19th, the main focus of the board has been on approving a proposed budget for the 2005- 2006 school year. On Wednesday night, the board finally voted.

"We just approved our budget for the 2005-2006 school year at 60.3 million dollars," said Charlottesville School Board Chairwoman Dee Dee Smith.

While hammering away at the budget for weeks now, some nights it seemed more like chiseling granite as the board faced a growing controversy with some members in the community.

Dr. Scottie J. Griffin, the Superintendent of Charlottesville City Schools said, "It was a long haul. It took lots of work to balance our budget for the 2005-2006 school year."

The 60.3 million dollar budget, approved 7-0, came after the seven-member board reconciled a $125,000 shortfall.

Most importantly, the new budget adds a half percent pay raise for some teachers, and works in an additional athletic trainer provided by the University of Virginia.

The school board now waits to see if the Charlottesville City Council will fund the budget which has caused some concern with the council. This budget is well over 50% of the city council's entire budget. The school board does expect it to be approved, though the council-members will be examining it very carefully.

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