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Free Child Care Will Be Available for Those Attending This Week’s Public Hearing on the 2020-21 School Year Funding Request

DATE: January 27, 2020
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
PHONE: 434-972-4049

Free Child Care Will Be Available for Those Attending This Week’s Public Hearing on the 2020-21 School Year Funding Request

(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – To provide more opportunities for parents to attend this week’s School Board public hearing on the school division’s funding request for next year, the division will offer free child care.

The public hearing will be in Lane Auditorium in the County Office Building at 401 McIntire Road in Charlottesville, this Thursday, January 30, and will begin at 6:30 p.m. Child care will be available in Room 235, just across the hall from the auditorium.

Parents or guardians who are attending the hearing can drop off their children beginning at 6:15 p.m. Care will be provided by high school student volunteers who will be supervised by two teachers. Parents or guardians are asked to bring any items or food for their child’s use.

This past Thursday, Superintendent Dr. Matthew Haas presented his 2020-21 school year funding request to the School Board. It marked the first time in more than 20 years that a Superintendent of Albemarle County Public Schools has presented a balanced funding request to the Board.

Haas proposed a seven percent increase in expenditures and projected that revenues also will increase by seven percent, for a funding request of $209.1 million for the school year that begins on July 1. The bulk of new expenditures would be for employee compensation and benefits, allowing the division to remain competitive in its recruitment of teachers and classified staff. The proposal also called for an increase in the hourly minimum wage for school division employees of up to as much as $15.00.

The other large contributor to the increase in expenditures is the projected growth in student enrollment next year. Haas pointed out in his presentation to the School Board last week that approximately 500 more students will be attending Albemarle County public schools next August compared to the previous budget cycle. This funding, Haas said, would allow the division to protect its relatively low class size levels.

On the revenue side, the school division is projecting a sizeable increase in state revenues of more than 14 percent. State funding would rise by $7.2 million to total $57.77 million. Next year would be the first time since the great recession that state funding on a per pupil basis exceeds what it was prior to the economic downturn.

Locally, revenues to the school division are projected to be four percent higher next year on top of a five percent increase this year. Funding from local government to the division is expected to rise by $5.8 million to total $144.05 million for the next school year.

Titled a “Work in Progress,” Haas said the funding request he presented last week furthers the work on 20 proposals that were new this year. “The core of our work is to generate progress and, as a community of lifelong learners, our work is continually unfinished. Every setback needs to be accompanied by a focused effort on discovery and improvement. Each achievement should elevate our future aspirations,” he said.

Also on Thursday evening, the School Board will hold the third of three scheduled work sessions on the funding request. The Board is expected to vote on Tuesday, February 4, on whether to approve the funding request and send it on to the Board of Supervisors.

Later this spring, on April 13, the Supervisors will conduct a public hearing on the budgets for local government and schools, and one week later on April 20, adopt a budget and tax rate. The School Board will adopt a final budget for schools later that month.

Community members planning to offer comment at the public hearing on the funding request this Thursday can sign up in advance at:
https://www.k12albemarle.org/acps/division/board/Pages/Public-Comment-Guidelines.aspx

For those unable to attend in person, the meeting will be video live-streamed at:
http://streaming.k12albemarle.org/ACPS/player.htm?xml/schoolboard.xml

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