On Monday afternoon, Katrina Callsen, Chair of the Albemarle County School Board, and Kate Acuff, school board member, presented the school board’s balanced 2023-24 funding request of $257,346,842 to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors. The request proposes an increase in expenditures totaling just under $10.9 million.
The funding request, which was approved by the school board at its March 9 meeting, is structured to accomplish the three goals of the division’s strategic plan, Learning for All, including thriving students; affirming and empowering communities; and equitable, transformative resources. Expenditure changes in the funding request are linked to each of these goals and supported by a logic model to ensure that programs will be implemented in a timely manner and evaluated on both a short- and long-term basis. The request includes such investments as safety enhancements; directed staffing for reading and intervention specialists at all schools; staffing to keep class sizes low; and competitive compensation.
Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) projects that K-12 enrollment in 2023-24 will rise by 136 students to reach 13,721 and, when including pre-K students in enrollment projections, will surpass 14,000.
Other notable funding priorities include a learning recovery fund to address the lingering impact of the pandemic on student achievement; an expansion of summer school opportunities with an emphasis on academic enrichment; increased support services for special education students and English Learners; additional security assistants at each secondary school and funding for a School Resource Officer; investments in student mental health; and career learning academies aligned with high-growth professions in the county.
Of this process, School Board Chair Katrina Callsen stated, “I want to express the admiration and gratitude of the school board to those who have provided input to the budget planning process and for those delivering services and support to the students, families, staff, and community partners of the ACPS community. Another invaluable contributor to this process is the Albemarle County local government, which has worked closely with the school division to provide early revenue projections and information and shares our firm belief in the contributions that a high-quality, responsive and innovative public education system will make to the future well-being and prosperity of all county residents.”
Overall, this funding request includes an increase of $15 million in local revenues, an 8.8% increase over the current fiscal year, and $4.6 million in additional state funding, a 6.9% increase. Nearly three-fourths of the school division budget next year will be funded by local revenues and about 28% supported by state revenues.
To follow the progress of the ACPS funding request, interested parties may consult the division’s 2023-24 Budget Development web page, which the school division will update regularly.
CONTACT: Helen Dunn, Deputy Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer