News From Henley Middle School – 15 December 2009

You might not have kids in schools, but Crozet schools affect all of us.

From the Henley Matters newsletter:

EARLY DISMISSAL – WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY

For the past three years, high schools in Albemarle County have held first semester exams prior to Winter Break on a modified half-day schedule which included two exams per day. Last year, the program was expanded to middle schools. Many middle school students take high school level classes, and all students begin taking semester exams in their eighth grade year, so the change will align these students with their high school counterparts.

Having both middle and high school students follow the same schedule will save about $10,000 in operational efficiency for the county. The regular middle and high school bus routes will run at 1:00 p.m., and drivers will then return for elementary school routes at 2:20 p.m. Since most middle and high school students ride the same buses, not combining their schedules would have required a third bus run each day to bring middle school students home at 4:00 p.m.

BUDGET SYNOPSIS UPDATE FROM PARENTS COUNCIL

This will likely be the most challenging budget cycle experienced by Albemarle County Schools in its history. State revenues may decline by as much as 15% for 2010-11 due to changes in Albemarle County’s composite index and overall state budget reductions. We will have a better idea how much when the Governor presents his budget on 12/18. Local revenues continue to slide as housing values slump and sales tax revenue falls. The projected revenue shortfall for the 2010-11 school year is between $8 and $11 million, depending on the tax rate agreed to by the newly elected Board of Supervisors.

Even an equalized tax rate of 77.2 cents will not eliminate the need for major reductions. The anticipated revenue shortfall with the higher rate is $8 million, due to declining state and local revenues. It is not possible to make reductions of this magnitude (4-5 times as many as were made this current fiscal year) in department or operational budgets/staffing. All positions and programs will be affected.

The board is pursuing a budget amendment at the state level to recalculate the county’s ability to pay for education based on the actual revenues on hand after the $18 million in revenue sharing is given to the city of Charlottesville. The current ratio overstates the county’s ability to pay and understates the city’s ability to pay. There is no guarantee that this budget amendment will pass in the General Assembly; in fact, it will face stiff opposition. The change would result in approximately $2 to $2.5 million in additional state funding to Albemarle County. Dr. Moran will present her funding request to the School Board on Wednesday, January 20.

Daily Progress: link to December 11th article on the School Board vote, Albemarle wants funds from city for schools:

Governor Kaine’s budget is expected to be released this Friday, December 18th. “Thanks to a slumping economy, Kaine has to find $3.5 billion in cuts in the state budget. He is scheduled to propose his fiscal plan next Friday at a joint meeting of the legislature’s money committees. Kaine has said that in balancing the budget, “everything’s on the table.””

Finally, the updated budget calendar for Albemarle County Public Schools is (after the jump); the date of the School Board public hearing has been changed to Tuesday, February 2nd.

The ACPS School Board has revised its budget development calendar. The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors public hearing dates have not changed.

Please mark these dates on your calendar and plan to attend and speak in support of our schools.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010, 6:30 pm, Location TBD
ACPS School Board Public Hearing: Proposed budget, FY 2010/11

Wednesday, March 3, 2010, time TBA, Lane Auditorium, ACOB
Board of Supervisors Public Hearing: The County Executive’s recommended budget, Fiscal Year 2010/11

Wednesday, March 31, 2010, time TBA, Lane Auditorium, ACOB
Board of Supervisors Public Hearing: The BOS’s proposed budget, FY 2010/11 2010 calendar year tax rate

Wednesday, April 7, 2010, time TBA, Lane Auditorium, ACOB
Board of Supervisors Public Hearing: The BOS sets the 2010 calendar year tax rate. The BOS adopts its FY 2010/2011budget (during ACPS Spring Break)

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