April 28, 2005
It's official! The Albemarle County School Board has adopted their operating budget for the next school year. Getting to this point wasn't easy. The board faced a $1 million shortfall just last week, and after adding things up-- the members voted unanimously for approval.
After presenting a budget weeks ago, the Albemarle County school board faced a $1.1 million shortfall, due to property taxes being dropped for county residents. Balancing a budget is a year-long process, and the board was prepared to take the extra time. Board members were able to absorb the shortfall because of funds in other areas of the school system which were shifted around.
The superintendent of Albemarle County schools, and other board members held work sessions to discuss ways to rebalance the budget which totaled almost $140 million. Some ways the board finalized their budget were by using one-time only expenditures rather than re-occurring expenditures, making minor cuts in some positions, and using some of the fund balance to meet high-priority expenses.
The chairman of the board says, though approving a budget is a year-long process, and having to re-crunch numbers is common, it's all about sticking to the priorities.
"Obviously a unanimous vote to approve a budget is the end of the road of a year's worth of work, identifying what our priorities are, working with the board of supervisors to make certain revenues are there to meet our priorities, and continue to make the progress we'd expect from our education system in Albemarle County," said Albemarle County School Board Chairman Dr. Gordon J. Walker.
With all the hard work of balancing the budget for next year, board members say they've reached their goals of supporting their teachers. Teachers' salary in Albemarle County is now up to par with their closest competition.