On Thursday night the School Board considered a number of amendments to the budget approved by Dr. Hatrick, approving only one before sending it to the Board of Supervisors for their consideration.
The one amendment that passed was one I proposed, cutting the School Board's Office Operations budget by over 25% from last year. This budget covers such items as travel expenses, conference registrations and food that we sometimes have when working through dinner. This is a small part of the overall budget, but it is our part of the budget, the part we can cut without impacting anyone else. We ask that employees go through their own budgets and look for opportunities to save, we have now down that for ourselves as well.
On Wednesday, February 10th at 6:30pm I will present this budget to the Board of Supervisors. It meets their guidance for a 5% increase in local tax funding for LCPS. The real challenge we face for funding this year isn't the Supervisors, it's the General Assembly. A proposed change in the distribution of state education funds would shortchange Loudoun County by $34 Million, more than the amount of the increase that we are requesting for LCPS. The School Board is working together with the Board of Supervisors to stop that change and get Loudoun's fair share of state funding (see the Roanoke Times editorial link, below).
The Board of Supervisors faces a very difficult task, this year as in years past. The whole county is growing, not just LCPS. The needs of that County are growing as well, as our population becomes more diverse and our community matures. Many families are struggling with unemployment and frozen wages. The people at LCPS know, because the kids from those families are looking to us for more help than ever before. I hope that the Supervisors will look around and see that it is in times like these that we all need to pull together to make the most of what we have. It is not the time to squabble over the scraps. As I said from the dais, LCPS works in close partnership every day with the very county agencies that some believe we are competing with for funds... the Sherrif's office, Parks & Rec, Family Services. LCPS needs them, they need LCPS, and the people of this community need them all.
Roanoke Times: Honor the School Funding Formula