Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.
Schools, Supervisors Meet To Discuss Budget, Discourse
Two members of the School Board and Board of Supervisors met Jan. 24 to discuss the $5.5 revenue shortfall in the current budget. School Board members Gil Seaux and Marty Wilder met with supervisors Hap Connors and Jerry Logan "informally."
Under the state’s open meeting laws, this is a legal meeting. If it were three or more memers from any board or commission, that is illegal.
The very basic details of the meeting came from an e-mail Superintendent Jerry Hill sent to a list of people:
"I see this as a very positive first step in developing better communication between the two boards, which is essential if we expect to solve our budget challenges. The meeting was very productive and I am optimistic that we will have more cooperative dialogue between the Boards in the future."
At the county board’s last meeting, Supervisor Emmitt Marshall implored the school system to find cuts. The county is keeping about $1.8 million in carryover funds that historically is returned to the school system. Not this year, at least not yet.
School Board reporter Karen Bolipata wrote this story this week that says the school system is trying to find cuts.
What was already an uphill climb for the Spotsylvania School Board budget process became even steeper last week, when the Board of Supervisors voted to hold carryover funds that the School Board had hoped to receive for the 2008-2009 fiscal year.
The School Board intended to use the $1.8 million to fund capital improvement projects, including Cedar Forest Elementary School, John J. Wright Educational and Cultural Center, the fleet maintenance facility and a proposed autism center.
This is yet another setback for the School Board, which is already dealing with a $1.6-million revenue shortfall in the current fiscal year. Right now, the Board of Supervisors and the School Board have a combined deficit of $7.1 million.