Chesterfield school budget affects Governor's Schools

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – They may be young, still in high school, but students at Appomattox Regional Governor's School are willing to do whatever it takes to keep their Chesterfield classmates from becoming victims of the county's budget crisis. Students are hoping to change things one online signature at a time.

"Internet. Internet is our main communication source," said junior Arica Hawthorne.

An online petition is underway for support to keep about 130 Chesterfield students at Appomattox next year.

"Chesterfield has more students here than any other locality," said junior Tyler Wilson.

Chesterfield County Public Schools sent a survey out to its staff, asking them to choose $40-million in cuts. Participation at Governor's Schools in Richmond and Petersburg could get the ax.

"I would not automatically say it's over because Chesterfield pulls out," said director James Ruffa.

He knows Chesterfield's budget is challenging, but he can't bear to lose students.

"Students at ARGS are the most amazing young people I've ever been around," he said.

The cut would save Chesterfield $2million. In turn, with a smaller population and the loss of Chesterfield's funding, the Governor's Schools would have to cut staff and programs.

"It's not just about finance, there's a moral commitment that's involved," Ruffa said.

Students sign up specifically for the rigorous coursework. 100% of graduates go on to college. Arica Hawthorne hopes people send letters to the General Assembly and Chesterfield leaders. It's one last chance to keep Chesterfield students in Petersburg.

Appomattox Regional is dealing with its own budget problems. It's expected a handful of staff will those their jobs. And over the next few months it's going to be a waiting game as the decision from Chesterfield County comes down, also they're waiting on the final amount of funding from the state.

on Facebook: ARGS MLWGS group

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