The Albemarle County School Board has approved a balanced $180.5 million operating budget for fiscal year 2018. The school division also will utilize more than $19 million in special revenue funds from the 2016 bond referendum.
The $180,486,940 operating budget is a $7.8 million, or 4.5 percent, increase over this year’s $172.7 million budget.
The School Board’s funding request to the Board of Supervisors in February was slightly more than $181 million.
“Unlike previous years when we’ve had to agonize over class size, this one was relatively straightforward,” said School Board Chairwoman Kate Acuff.
The School Board voted 6-1 to adopt the budget following Monday’s meeting of the Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center board. Rivanna District representative Jason Buyaki was the only member to vote against it.
The School Board’s budget approval follows the adoption on Monday of Albemarle County’s budget for fiscal year 2018. The county’s hearings on the budget and tax rates were postponed in April when officials failed to post legal notice of the hearings in the county office building.
“The challenge this year was the timing,” Acuff said. “Until we had the county’s budget, we couldn’t ink contracts for teachers.”
The budget for next year includes $1.27 million for Equity and Access, a new initiative to help teachers reach at-risk students and remove barriers to learning caused by childhood trauma, family disruption and poverty.
Spending on bond revenue projects for next year includes $15 million for the expansion of Woodbrook Elementary School, $3 million for learning-space modernization and $1.4 million for school security improvements.
Last week, supervisors voted to appropriate $1.488 million in additional funds for the Woodbrook project when construction bids went over budget. Construction is scheduled to begin at Woodbrook this summer.