DATE: January 29, 2018
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
Public Hearing on the School Division’s 2018-19 Budget Will Be Held Jan. 30; Meeting Will Be Livestreamed
(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – The Albemarle County School Board will hold a public hearing tomorrow evening, January 30, on the funding request for the school division’s 2018-19 fiscal year. The hearing will be in Lane Auditorium beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the County Office Building at 401 McIntire Road in Charlottesville.
The hearing will be video livestreamed at:
Superintendent Dr. Pamela Moran presented her funding request to the School Board at its January 18 meeting. Since then, the Board has held two work sessions on the request and has another work session scheduled for tomorrow evening after the public hearing. The Board is expected to vote at its meeting on February 8 on the funding request it will send to the Board of Supervisors.
Dr. Moran’s funding request, AlbemarleForward: Equity & Opportunity, is designed to build upon the investments in this year’s budget, which focused on such strategic objectives as closing the learning opportunity gap among the division’s nearly 14,000 students; expanding student choice and career readiness programs; and recruiting and retaining world-class teachers and classified staff.
The request for next year is for a budget of $188 million, an increase of $7.6 million, or 4.2 percent, but less than one percent after accounting for inflation and student enrollment growth. Revenues currently are projected to rise by $6.3 million, or 3.5 percent. The current funding gap of $1.26 million is one of the smallest in recent years.
Contributing to the funding gap are declines in both federal and state revenues to the school division, while local government revenues are projected to increase by $6.5 million. State revenues are dropping due to an increase in Albemarle County’s composite index, which the state uses to determine the revenue it sends to school divisions. The index measures local ability to pay. The county’s change in the index was driven by a 28 percent increase in the adjusted gross income of its residents.
In her funding request message, Superintendent Moran said:
There is a qualitative difference … between the opportunities that a constantly modernizing and expanding economy offers and the opportunities provided to each student to join that economy at the highest level of their potential.
This was the challenge our school division formally embraced a year ago with the launching of our SEAD (social, emotional and academic development) pilot program for four urban ring elementary schools. Its goal, as we said in the program’s mission statement, is to end the predictive value of race, class, gender, and special capacities on student success by working together with families and communities to ensure each individual student’s success.
The Superintendent noted that nearly 2,300 community members participated in the division’s annual budget survey, and among the top priorities were competitive salaries for teachers and classified staff and the expansion of workforce readiness opportunities for students. Her funding request includes compensation increases of $4.1 million to enable the school division to remain market competitive.
In addition to increased funding to support a projected overall enrollment increase of 249 students for next year, several new initiatives for students will expand their access to contemporary learning opportunities. These include the elimination of class fees charged to students; a pilot high school center to encourage more internships and interaction with the private sector around technology; providing transportation to students who wish to attend one of the division’s three STEM academies when the academy is not located at the student’s base school; and an expansion of the division’s world language program in elementary schools.
Information on the entire funding request, including the Superintendent’s letter and presentation to the School Board, is available at www.k12albemarle.org/budget.