Richmond school board leaders approve budget proposal

By Evrod Cassimy – bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - After months of discussion, school board leaders voted to approve the budget.. Of course with that comes cuts to staff and programs and it's not over yet. Tuesday night's school board meeting was a full house as people anxiously awaited to see whether the school board leaders would approve the 2010-2011 budget.

In a 7-2 vote school board leaders approved a plan to fill the more than $17 million budget gap. But that's just the first step.

"It is not over," said superintendent, Yvonne Brandon. "The process actually is going to be predicated by what we receive from the state as far as additional information about additional budget cuts as well as additional information we are to receive from the locality, from our city government."

As is the proposed changes include increased class sizes for all grades, 3 furlough days, and eliminating programs including Spanish Immersion and middle school athletics.

"During this process we discovered that there were additional places that are possible cuts in the budget," said board member, Kimberly Gray.

Before the budget was approved, Gray presented several amendments in efforts to keep class sizes smaller. Board members however, didn't agree with her suggestions.

"I'm a bit disappointed," added Gray. "I think that there were other areas that could be cut first."

Still there are 4 more months before the $17 million budget gap must be filled. More changes could be on the way. Up next the school board budget must be approved by City Council. It has to be adopted by June 21.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.