March 21, 2013
Bill and Meigan Sullivan have two daughters attending Fluvanna County schools. They've been following the school board funding deficit for the past 10 months and thought on Wednesday night, the county would finally take a step in the right direction.
"It seemed like a no brain-er that they had to find the right level of funding," said Bill Sullivan, a member of Focus on Fluvanna's Future.
"As a parent, as a mom, it's it's frustrating it breaks your heart," said Meigan Sullivan.
The Board of Supervisors voted to cut taxes for Fluvanna County residents which didn't leave enough to fund the school board for the full $14.1 million.
But Sullivan says the tax cut isn't a big deal compared to what could've been done.
"What the supervisors have done is reduce taxes that's gonna put $3 a month in each taxpayers pocket. Our opinion is, three dollars is not a lot of money," Sullivan said.
Bill and his wife are of course concerned about their daughters' education but the decision to give three dollars a month back to taxpayers and not fund the schools in full is causing a much bigger problem.
"Teachers are leaving, people aren't gonna want to come here," he said. "It's gonna have a really big impact. It's not just the parents and just the children. Real estate prices are going to plummet. In addition to proximity to work, schools are the second most important thing for property values."
And the drop in property values for homeowners is something that affects the entire community. A community, that school board chair Camilla Washington says understands the value of great schools.
"It is important for the Board to work diligently with Ms. Keller and her administration to focus our attention on balancing the budget based on our local funding," Washington says. "Our goal continues to be providing a quality education to all the children of Fluvanna and be advocates for public education."
She says the board will continue to look out for all staff but that it is hurtful that this is what they have to do. Washington says it's disheartening to hear realtors are telling potential buyers to possibly think again.
The school board and administration are already planning a meeting for next week.