School and County Leaders Work to Make up for $2 Million Budget Shortfall

By: Elizabeth Lamb Email
By: Elizabeth Lamb Email

AUGUSTA COUNTY -- School leaders are working with Augusta County to make up for a nearly $2 million budget shortfall.

Augusta County school district administrators approved a budget for next school year, which comes with a $2 million shortfall. The approved plan cuts part-time employee's health insurance plans by half and will affect nearly 200 employees.

It's up to Superintendent Dr. Chuck Bishop to work with the county on a final plan, and it's up to the county board of supervisors to approve the final plan.

"It is frustrating. It does pit the two elected boards against each other often. There's a lot that's been accomplished between the board of supervisors and the school board over the years, but it can also be very contentious at times as well.”

"I don't know anybody who's not in favor of education or helping the school board this year. I think where the rub comes is where the money will come from," Tracy Pyles, a member of the board of supervisors, said.

Both Bishop and Pyles said Virginia's General Assembly needs to prioritize education.

"Stop worrying about the new things that they want to do and take care of their basic, governmental job so they can be more effective citizens to grow this Commonwealth," said Pyles.

Bishop said employees could leave the district because of cuts.

"There's a sense of relief in that at least our portion is over. It's also very frustrating, because some of the cuts we had to implement last night and had to suggest to the board hurt people,” he said.

School board leaders have another plan which would restore other needs in the district. They plan to present both plans to county administrators at a meeting next week and the school district hopes to have its plan approved by May 1st.


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