How AC Public Hearings Work

How to Participate:  Albemarle County Public Hearings

The Albemarle County Public Schools budget is part of the umbrella Albemarle County budget adopted by the Board of Supervisors [BOS]. As part of the budget building process, both the School Board and the AC BOS hold public hearings to receive input from AC residents.

Discussion Topics

Now that Supt. Moran has submitted her funding request for the 2010-11 academic year, the Albemarle County Public School Board will hold a public hearing. This hearing is February 2nd at 6:30 pm at the Monticello HS Auditorium. The School Board and ACPS Administration allocate funding from federal, state and local revenue sources. Any issues related to how those funds are allocated – student/teacher ratios, staffing for special needs, arts curriculum, etc. – are most appropriate for the School Board hearing.

The AC BOS public hearings are held after the County Executive has prepared a proposed budget. The first hearing, prior to setting the property tax rate, is the most important for public input. Any issues related to how much funding ACPS will receive through the AC budget are most appropriate for the BOS hearing. In  2010 that hearing is March 3rd at 6:00 pm in Lane Auditorium of the Albemarle County Office Building [ACOB].

The second hearing comes after the BOS has advertised a proposed tax rate for the coming fiscal year. (After advertising it, the tax rate can be set below the advertised rate, but not above.) In 2010 that hearing is March 31st at 6:00 pm in Lane Auditorium of the ACOB.

The third and final BOS public hearing on the budget and tax rate features the BOS adopting the next fiscal year budget and tax rate. In 2010 that hearing is April 8th at 6:00 pm in Lane Auditorium of the ACOB.

The Rules

All of the public hearings follow similar rules:

1.    Sign in.  In order to speak, one must first sign in on a sheet of paper set out for that purpose. The number next to your name indicates where you will be in the line of people asking to speak. Signing up is limited to the signer and one additional person. This sheet is made available before the hearing begins. In the case of the BOS hearings, it is available a couple of hours prior to the hearing. It usually has a long list of names by the time the hearing starts, but you can sign in any time. After the last name has been called to speak, the podium is open for any others interested in speaking. At the School Board hearings, the sign in sheet (and opportunity to speak) is withdrawn 15 minutes after the meeting starts.

2.    Time allowed. Each speaker is allowed a maximum of three minutes. A stoplight visible to the speaker indicates green at the beginning, yellow at the two minute mark, and red at three minutes. No minimum time required.

3.    No cheering, clapping, or booing. Supporters are encouraged to show their support for a speaker by standing. Many also bring signs related to their interest and wave them to show support.

If you have any questions about these budget public hearings, please contact your Parent Council rep. His or her contact information can be found here.

Further details on School Board rules may be found here.