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School Board Concerned WIth Albemarle Budget

By: Jummy Olabanji Email
By: Jummy Olabanji Email

March 2, 2007

With a proposed budget of over 300 million dollars you would think that there would be enough in the county's wallet to go around, but the county schools are not getting all that they asked for.

"We're a little concerned that our budget proposal does include using that revenue in the budget proposal, so this proposal indicates a $1.9 million shortfall for the school divisions budget" said Sue Bell Friedman, a school board chair.

But so far the county says it has given what it can.

"We provided 8.9 million to the school system in new money" said Bob Tucker, Albemarle County Executive.

The county has also given the school division sixty percent of new money.

Neither side denies the fact that students, teachers and education are a top concern.

"The primary focus in the budget is schools and public safety as it always is, that's our major drivers of our budget" said Tucker.

But the school board says its prepared to lobby for more money.

"At this point were looking to make the case that, that 1.9 million is needed to continue to meet the needs of the school division, to continue to move the school division towards world-class, to continue to satisfy the citizens who indicate by nearly 92 percent that education is very important to them" said Friedman.

There is extra money saved away though, over four million dollars to be exact, that the board could use either to adjust the tax rate or to use for additional funding to schools to local government.

"We're in dialogue, were in conversation, both as boards and as a community. Where are our communities? Where do we want our revenues to go? And how much revenue is needed in this community to do the things that are a priority for us?" said Friedman.

You can read the county executive's full budget proposal by clicking on the link below.

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