Big Budget Changes

By: Philip Stewart Email
By: Philip Stewart Email

January 11, 2006

Addressing the public and the Albemarle County School Board Thursday night, Superintendent Pam Moran revealed that the spring budget will suddenly be $1.8 million less than originally thought.

The money is going into a reserve fund. It's a decision the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors made Wednesday.
and it's a change the district didn't see coming.

"This is of concern to us," said Moran.

The $1.8 million chunk of cash was money the school district was quite literally banking on, when they put together their budget in October.

But county supervisors are putting some $3 million from projected revenues into a reserve fund.

"I think that they felt that this was going to be something that would allow them flexibility as they move through their budgeting process, which obviously is tied to ours this spring," explained Moran.

The district now has to go back into their budget and make cuts. They'll be looking to maximize the money they do have.

District leaders will look at projects in need of funding, and rank them by highest priority.

"There are (items) that we're just going to have to put on the table for the school board and say, we would really love to do this, some of these we really need to do, some of these we must do, but we do not have the funds right now," said Moran.

If any finding is restored, the board will move items back into budget

But for now, senior staff and district leaders plan to work all weekend to balance their finances.

They have to present a final budget to the school board in less than a week.

"It will be pretty much a 'round-the-clock work session for us this weekend, because we have a goal that we will be where we need to be on January 17 with our school board," said Moran.

The announcement came as quite a surprise to some board members, who were hearing about the loss of the money for the first time along with the public.

Many board members said they were concerned that no one on the Board of Supervisors gave them any warning about what they were doing.

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