Albemarle School Board Passes Budget

By: Jaclyn Piermarini Email
By: Jaclyn Piermarini Email

The Albemarle School Board finally has a budget.

After months of debate, the board made up for a shortfall by increasing class sizes and scaling back teacher pay raises.

When the school board realized they were not going to get any more funding from the county, they were still $3.9 million short of what they estimated they needed.

So for the past few weeks, they've been trying to figure out where to make up that money.

Board Chair Ned Gallaway says it wasn't an easy process.

"Different board members have different views on what can be cut first or second or extensive cuts. But at the end of the day they were all painful. There was not a board member tonight that was happy with all of the cuts we had to make but it was the reality of the situation."

Eric Strucko was one of two board members that voted against the proposed budget.

"The one regretful thing that i walk away from this budgeting process is that the board felt it needed to increase class size. On principal that’s why i voted no on the budget. "

The final budget clears the way for teachers to sign contracts, and for principals to know what they have to work with for next year.

Class size will be impacted, which inspired one Monticello High School student to speak up.

"Larger class size means that students have less one on one with the teacher, and for students that are not really strong this can affect their learning."

Depending on the class and grade level, some classrooms could see no change while some high school classes could see an increase of three or four students.

The final budget also gave teachers and staff less off a pay raise and made cuts to several programs.

With the passing of this budget only minutes behind them, the board was already looking at ways to make sure they aren't in the same position next year, trying to find places to make cuts.

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