CHARLES CITY (WRIC) – Major budget problems in Charles City County mean school athletics, music, arts, and popular programs could be done for the year.
The county School Board has been ordered by the Board of Supervisors to cut $436,732 from this year’s budget immediately.
According to the Board of Supervisors, nearly a million dollars has to be slashed county wide because of revenue loss from an agreement with Waste Management.
“It hurts severely across the board everywhere,” said board chairman Bill Coada. “If we do not have money coming in, we can’t spend money going out.”
Friday night, the School Board held a public meeting and listened as the superintendent recommended drastic cuts to 22 areas. Among those on the list – athletics, maintenance, after school programs and substitute teachers.
Parents, students, teachers, and community members voiced their opinions on the proposed cuts.
“I’m honestly very, very scared,” commented one student who’s a member of ROTC. “This program means a lot to me.”
An elementary school student said, “If you take away art, music, P.E., or all the teachers, what kind of future am I going to have?”
Teachers also spoke with the board and proposed that every county employee take a furlough day to deal with the shortfall.
“We are prepared to take a day’s worth of no pay to keep somebody else’s jobs if that’s what it comes down to,” said a 4th grade teacher.
The board didn’t take action Friday night but knows painful decisions must be made.
“We are looking every day – even today – we are looking at alternatives,” said Coada.
The school board plans to hold another public meeting before deciding what to cut. They do have to answer to the Board of Supervisors by March 25.
Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond