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School Budget in the News Media Links

Some of the local media's articles regarding the ACPS budget.

Debating wants, needs in Albemarle's budget - The schools' budget request could be about $2 million above and beyond projected revenues - meaning heavy cuts for schools or finding a way to raise more money. Tax rates (per $100 of assessed value) 2008 - 68 cents (proposed) 2007 - 68 cents 2006 - 74 cents 2005 - 74 cents 2004 - 76 cents 2003 - 76 cents 2002 - 76 cents Largest budget segments (Proposed FY 08-09 budget) Schools - $151.3 million (includes funding from all sources). $99.3 million local. Wurzer and Drake both point to the numbers: The more than $100 million increase in the budget since 2000 corresponds to only moderate increases in population and school enrollment. Drake says he also wants to keep the county "honest." For example, he said, school officials continue to talk about "cutting" the budget when its overall proposed budget is an increase over last year's. "You're planning on spending more money - how can that be a cut? About 70 percent of the overall budget, including schools and general government, goes to employee salaries and benefits. (Charlottesville Daily Progress - Mar 2, 2008 )

Albemarle school budget continues to grow - In recent years, the size of the Albemarle school division's budget has continued to increase, despite relatively little growth in student enrollment. The continued growth of the schools budget has drawn the critical eye of the chairman of the county Board of Supervisors. "I don't understand why the schools budget has grown so much, considering the stagnant population growth in the county," said board Chairman Kenneth C. Boyd. School officials counter that student enrollment is only one of many factors driving budget growth. Surging fuel prices have hit the school division's transportation budget hard in recent years. He feels that the School Board lacks a business perspective when deliberating on budget issues. (Charlottesville Daily Progress - Mar 2, 2008 )

Expenses outpace growth at schools - The School Board's proposed $151.3 million budget for next year would mark a 2.2 percent increase over this year's adopted $147.9 million budget. The continued growth of the schools budget has drawn the critical eye of the chairman of the county Board of Supervisors."I don't understand why the schools budget has grown so much, considering the stagnant population growth in the county," said board Chairman Kenneth C. Boyd. School officials counter that student enrollment is only one of many factors driving budget growth. Surging fuel prices have hit the school division's transportation budget hard in recent years. He feels that the School Board lacks a business perspective when deliberating on budget issues. (Charlottesville Daily Progress - Mar 1, 200)

Debating wants, needs in Albemarle's budget - The debate that played out between those property owners and the teachers and parents who argued that county schools needed the money was the most tense, contested budget process supervisors said they could remember. As supervisors scrutinize next year's proposed $331.4 million budget, the debate is likely to have two sides: those demanding more for schools and those who believe the county should not raise taxes to generate additional funding. The schools' budget request could be about $2 million above and beyond projected revenues meaning heavy cuts for schools or finding a way to raise more money. Wurzer and Drake both point to the numbers: The more than $100 million increase in the budget since 2000 corresponds to only moderate increases in population and school enrollment. Drake says he also wants to keep the county "honest." For example, he said, school officials continue to talk about "cutting" the budget when its overall proposed budget is an increase over last year's. "You're planning on spending more money how can that be a cut? (Charlottesville Daily Progress - Mar 1, 2008 )

Schools' IB plans come into focus
School administrators from Fluvanna and Hanover counties as well as Charlottesville met with two members of the Albemarle School Board on Thursday evening to discuss the International Baccalaureate program. Albemarle school officials are investigating the possibility of bringing the IB program to an undetermined number of county schools. At the elementary level, IB programs incorporate entire schools while at the middle and high school levels, IB programs generally involve a select group of students within schools. All three high schools in Hanover offer IB programs. According to Vincent D'Agostino, the principal at Atlee High School, the program prepares students well for college. "Graduates from our IB program tell us that college is easier than high school," he said. (Charlottesville Daily Progress - Feb 29, 200)

Moran suggests possible cuts - Albemarle Superintendent Pam Moran provided the School Board Tuesday with three sets of recommended cuts, as the board works to fine tune its contingency plan to deal with shrinking revenue projections. The School Board's proposed budget currently totals $151.3 million - $2.3 million more than overall projected revenues. If the School Board has to make up all of the projected shortfall - which would happen if the Board of Supervisors does not give schools an additional 2 cents on county's tax rate - Moran recommended 18 cost savings measures that would balance the budget. If the supervisors give the division the additional 2 cents from the tax rate, only about $543,000 would have to be cut from the budget. School officials are studying the feasibility of a $50 per student yearly bus fee. (Charlottesville Daily Progress - Feb 27, 200)

Schools mulling IB programs - The Fluvanna school division is already implementing the IB Primary Years Program at its three elementary schools. Charlottesville school officials are looking to put a pilot Primary Years Program in place at Johnson and Venable elementary schools for the 2009-10 school year. A $200,000 placeholder was included in the county School Board's budget request for fiscal 2009 to pay for further planning on IB programs as well as planning for math and science specialty centers at Albemarle High School. "We need to get more information on both of those projects," Albemarle School Board Chairman Brian Wheeler said. The Primary Years Program incorporates an entire school while the Middle School and Diploma programs serve a select group of students within a school. Albemarle has yet to determine which elementary schools would become IB schools as well as which middle and high schools would house IB programs. (Charlottesville Daily Progress - Feb 25, 2008)

Education hot topic at county budget forum - Just after Albemarle County's top official described his recommended fiscal 2009 budget, Board of Supervisors Chairman Kenneth C. Boyd laid out the rules of the game for those who wanted to speak. (Daily Progress - Feb 21, 2008)

Schools say set tax rates sooner - The Albemarle School Board has asked the Board of Supervisors to set a tax rate for advertisement as early as possible so the School Board can determine sooner how much will need to be cut from its proposed $151.7 million proposed budget. While raising that rate would provide the schools with more money, there are many other factors involved in setting the tax rate, Boyd said. "The school system is a big and important part of our budget, but it is not the only part of our budget," Boyd said. "We have other initiatives in the county. The School Board had accelerated its own budget process in order to provide the supervisors with a budget request by today. Also, teachers laid off in May would have fewer options in other school systems. Steve Gissendanner, a teacher at Woodbrook Elementary and president of the Albemarle Education Association, hopes the supervisors will set the tax rate soon so the budget situation becomes more settled. "There is a huge amount of energy going into the budget process that should be going directly into education," he said. (Daily Progress - Feb 19, 2008)

Use money for staff and schools - We can save the money we'd spend on industrial land and use it to replace staff and provide for the needs of our schools. (Charlottesville Daily Progress - Feb 19, 2008 )

Schools may charge for rides - Other ideas under consideration are athletics fees as well as increases in fees for use of school facilities by non-school groups. Students currently do not have to pay to take the bus to and from school or to participate in after-school athletics. Last week, the School Board finalized a $151.7 million budget request, a total that is projected to exceed revenues by at least $1.9 million. Board of Supervisors Chairman Kenneth Boyd does not believe a bus fee would be an appropriate mechanism for the School Board to use to balance its budget. "I don't think it's a very good idea," Boyd said. "There are other areas that could be cut. The School Board is getting more money this year than it did last year. (Charlottesville Daily Progress - Feb 16, 200)

Albemarle schools expect further funding shortfall - Timothy M. Kaine, Albemarle County school officials anticipate between a $500,000 and $1 million additional shortfall in state revenues for the upcoming fiscal year. The division's $151.7 million budget request approved last week by the county School Board now stands between $1.9 million and $2.4 million in excess of overall anticipated revenues. The school division's budget will be sent to the Board of Supervisors next week. The School Board attached a contingency plan to the proposed budget, in order to be prepared for a worsening revenue picture. Moran informed the School Board of the new revenue information at Thursday's meeting. (Charlottesville Daily Progress - Feb 14, 200)

School Board approves $151.7 million funding request - On Thursday, the Albemarle County School Board unanimously approved a $151.7 million funding request for FY 2009 which will be sent to the Board of Supervisors next week.  That is a 2.57% increase over the current year's operational budget.  Revenues from all sources (federal, state, and local) are increasing by only 1.68%.  The funding request is $1.3 million more than the revenues that are expected to be available at this time. (SchoolMatters Weblog - Feb 9.)

Albemarle may keep tax rate - By freezing positions and implementing few new initiatives aside from already planned brick-and-mortar projects, County Executive Robert W. Tucker Jr. said Friday that the $331.4 million recommended budget is balanced. The recommended budget would represent an increase of 8.5 percent over fiscal 2008. While the Board of Supervisors will make the final decision on the budget at a meeting scheduled for April 9, Tucker assumed the board would go ahead with charging for emergency medical services. Other supervisors declined to comment Friday, given that they had yet to see Tucker's proposal. Sixty percent of county revenue goes toward schools, and Tucker recommends $99.3 million, an increase of $900,000. "I'm sorry to see they gave us an unbalanced budget," Boyd said. "I think it's going to be very difficult to find that money." Tucker also thought it would be difficult. (Daily Progress - Feb 9, 2008)

Albemarle OKs budget with deficit - The request is still $1.3 million more than revenue projections "“ though school officials cautioned that the number could increase or decrease depending on what the General Assembly and Board of Supervisors ultimately decide as part of their budget processes. Board of Supervisors Chairman Kenneth C. Boyd had said he hoped to see the schools present a balanced funding request, but School Board Chairman Brian Wheeler said the School Board's job is to devise a budget that meets the school system's needs. He also said that because the revenue picture is constantly changing, it would be difficult for the schools to provide a balanced request. "Presenting a balanced budget is only possible if you have accurate information about revenues," Wheeler said. It cut $500,000 from its transportation budget, meaning 15 buses that would normally be replaced next year will not be, said Charmaine White, the school system's deputy director of transportation. While it slimmed its budget request, the board maintained an overall increase in teacher compensation at 4 percent, Wheeler said. "That is the most important thing in the budget," he said. (Charlottesville Daily Progress - Feb 8, 2008 )

The HooK: NEWS- No growth: School system defies County numbers

Since 1999, the school budget has climbed by about $16 million. "You could call it the $16 million student," says board member Ken Boyd. ...

 

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