Budget Problems Continue For Waynesboro Schools

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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) -- A money challenge for Waynesboro City Schools is becoming even tougher.

Administrators were already facing challenges after they announced 15 positions will be eliminated next year. Now, due to low enrollment, the district is losing $365,000.

Although winter may be over, it's still wreaking havoc on the school district. Both high overtime and utility costs are among the culprits making for a tough spending situation.

The district is 74 students short of its 3,075 enrollment number and is now forced to forfeit $365,000 already budgeted.

"Those 74 students are spread all over the division. It's not like I lost 74 kids that I can close down three classrooms and lay off three teachers. There's a kid in this classroom, a couple in that classroom. And they're spread around all seven buildings in the division. So it's just very, very difficult to reduce a budget mid-year," said Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Cassell.

That's the task for Cassell and administrators who announced steps this week to freeze spending across the board.

"None of them are things that I wanted to do," said Cassell.

That includes no overtime, no new field trips that haven't already been approved and steps to conserve energy. It also means hiring substitutes only when they're needed for instructional teachers, not aides or librarians.

"I think we can make it through this year without our students being impacted. But as we go into future years, they'll feel the impact as well," said Cassell.

Cassell says at this point they're a little frustrated that they still don't know how much money they'll get from the state for next year forced to wait on a budget compromise from lawmakers in Richmond.

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