March 30, 2013
In the midst of a tight budget season, Charlottesville and Albemarle County have a lot on their plate making sure next year's budget is set, especially when federal budget cuts go into affect. Some community members are trying to make a difference before cuts hit the schools.
"When we heard that it was over $557,000 that the local schools were going to lose with the sequester cuts, someone said, 'Oh we have to hold a bake sale.' And some of the rest of us said, 'Well, yes, let's do it," said Sally Thomas, the former Albemarle County supervisor.
Community members have started taking a big issue into their own hands. And by having the bake sale, organizers say they realize they probably won't raise $500,000, but it's more to get the word out about the across the board cuts that are not invisible.
"A lot of people don't know that it actually has any affect on us right here in Charlottesville and Albemarle," Thomas said.
Teresa King says she and her husband just recovered from being hit by the recession and now might have to start worrying about her daughters education.
"Now we're finally at a place where we're okay and now there's just some more hurdles and it's affecting my child. That just angers me you know, it's upsetting," King, a Charlottesville resident said.
City and county school boards have said the goal is to keep the cuts away from the classroom as much as possible. But King says if that doesn't happen and they have to cut positions and increase class sizes, it would diminish the great experience her daughter has now.
"That's why I moved to this community, to provide this foundation for my daughter to give her that path to success," King said.
Albemarle County School Board members have said the sequester cuts would affect funding to special programs including the school lunch program. That would mean an increase in the price of meals at school which they say they know would be tough for some families.
Charlottesville City Councilor Kristin Szakos helped out at the bake sale on the Downtown Mall on Saturday and urged community members to call their Congress-person regarding these cuts.
At the end of the day, the bake sale raised more than $300, which will be split and given to Albemarle and Charlottesville School Boards.