$16 million in additional cuts possible to Chesterfield schools

By Evrod Cassimy – bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Chesterfield County Schools are going to look a little bit different next school year as school board Superintendent Marcus Newsome proposes to cut $26 million from the school district's budget. But that was just the first proposal.

"There still needs to be about an additional $16 million in cuts and at this time superintendent has said for discussion purposes that we are going to take the $26 million and look to our elected officials to help us address the additional $16 million," said school board spokesperson, Shawn Smith.

Among the additional cuts is an increase the student to teacher ratio, cut another 1% for all employees and reduce academic supplements. This of course does not sit well with students and parents.

"I'm concerned that they're going to take away the music program which on so many levels will impact not just him but a large majority of students," said parent, Vicki Jeniolionis.

Vicki's son, Taylor, suffers from asthma and is heavily involved in high school band to help with his breathing. They like other parents who packed the first public hearing since the proposed cuts were announced are not going down without a fight.

"I'm not going to stand by and let this happen," said Taylor. "I'm going to do the best I can in convincing them to do otherwise."

School board supervisors are hoping the county will step in and provide the needed money before additional cuts must be made before the 2010-2011 school year.

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