One of the reasons people choose to relocate to (and stay within) Albemarle County is that our school systems are generally regarded as being quite good. Now that the Albemarle County Schools’ Budget/Funding request has been released, we need to do our part and see how we may help.
The Superintendent’s Funding Request calls for $5.3 million in reductions, including:
- No salary increases of any kind for any employees; the projected 8 percent increase in health care costs and increased Virginia Retirement System expenses are covered by the request so employees will not receive a direct reduction in compensation for 2010-11;
- Increases in class size by one student in grades 4 through 12, a net loss of ~17 full-time equivalent teaching positions, many of which will be absorbed by attrition;
- Ten percent cuts in eligible operational budgets across the board for all schools and departments;
- Places hold on technology replacement and improvements;
- Reduces Learning Resources (textbooks, online resources, consumable materials) by $500,000;
- Reduces the transportation department by nearly $400,000, as efficiencies in routing, compensation, and program delivery are implemented. There will be fewer bus routes, longer bus ride times, expanded walk zones, and fewer bus drivers.
- Reduces professional development reimbursement funds by 50 percent.
- Introduces for the first time a student activities fee for athletic programs and reduces the programs we offer:
- A student activity fee of $75 per student, per sport, with a cap of $425 per family will be enacted.
- Freshmen athletic teams at Monticello High and Western Albemarle High will be eliminated.
- Junior Varsity coaching assistants will be eliminated at all high schools.
- Cuts instructional support funds for intervention and enrichment, CATEC, elementary and middle school summer school;
- Makes, for the third consecutive year, additional position cuts in at the central office, and in support services, including leadership reductions.
The Superintendent’s Funding Request is not balanced to current projected revenue. An additional $1 million in increased funds or further reductions must be made to meet current available revenue. The School Board will hold a series of budget work sessions in January, a Public Hearing on February 2, and another Telephone Town Hall on February 3 to hear feedback and concerns from the community. The Board may decide to revise the funding request before submitting it to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors.
Please get involved.