State School Boards Come Together

By: Donald Robinson
By: Donald Robinson

The Virginia School Board Association is calling for a unified stand against future cuts in education. It wants all 134 school boards in the state to unite. The Association believes this effort will make a difference with lawmakers.

"Times are tight," said Thomas Jennings of the Augusta County School Board. "School boards are finding themselves in a situation where lowering school board budgets are a necessity."

Jennings says providing resources for kids, while absorbing cuts is making for hard times and he says it might just get worse.

"School boards across the state are concerned about what Governor Warner will do when he announces the reductions for December," said Jennings, "or how the legislature in January will deal with the need to reduce the state budget."

Jennings says he understands the need to balance the $1.5 billion budget shortfall, but there is something officials needs to understand.

"Just because the funding level is dropping does not mean the needs are dropping," said Jennings.

Del. Chris Saxman says no one wants to see education cut, but he questions how effective the Virginia School Boards Association will be.

"Their input while important will probably not have as much of an impact as they think," said Saxman, "that is just the reality of the politics."

And if that is the case, Jennings says all they can do is hope.

"Our hope is they will look first to other areas of the budget to reduce and look last at public education," said Jennings.


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