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City School Board approves balanced funding request
Rosa Atkins and Juandiego Wade, Feb 16 2017
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Credit: Josh Mandell, Charlottesville Tomorrow
Charlottesville School Board member Juandiego Wade (L) voted in favor of the balanced budget request from superintendent Rosa Atkins (R).
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Josh Mandell | Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 9:40 p.m.

The Charlottesville City School Board on Thursday unanimously approved a balanced $81.6 million funding request for fiscal year 2017-18.

“This is a budget that represents the collective thinking of our school division and our community,” said Superintendent Rosa Atkins.

The request is a $2.9 million, or 3.7 percent, increase over the current $78.6 million budget. The school division requested a $51.3 million contribution from the city of Charlottesville — an increase of $2 million, or 4.1 percent. The budget proposal reserves $731,000 for a 2 percent average raise for staff.

Among the new personnel proposed for next year are instructional coaches for Walker Upper Elementary School and Charlottesville High School; four instructional assistants for second grade; a grant writing and alumni outreach specialist; and an elementary ESL teacher.

“There are some really good additions in terms of staff,” said board Chairwoman Amy Laufer, adding that there had been a need for second-grade instructional assistants since she joined the board in 2012.

Board member Jennifer McKeever praised the addition of a part-time behavior and transitions specialist and a $20,000 item for assistive technology, both of which would benefit special-education programs.

The budget proposal includes $77,000 to cover Advanced Placement test fees. Staff recommended pulling this line item, but it was reintroduced after the board disagreed at a January work session.

Schools Budget Director Kim Powell said it could be necessary to amend the budget once the amount of funding from the state has been finalized. The current proposal predicts $21.6 million in state funding — 3.9 percent more than the division received for the current school year.

The budget proposal for the city schools does not include school-related capital improvement projects. Charlottesville’s proposed capital improvement program for the upcoming fiscal year includes $1,666,200 to install a new track at Charlottesville High School.

The Charlottesville School Board will present its budget request to City Council on March 6.

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