Chesterfield County School Board approves budget proposal

By Evrod Cassimy - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – One school could be on the chopping block as Chesterfield County's school board approves a budget, that makes up for a $26-million shortfall.

The superintendent presented revisions to his previous budget proposal which actually saves jobs and puts more back into the pockets of employees. But still some people aren't satisfied with the board's budget proposal approval tonight.

Chesterfield County Superintendent Doctor Marcus Newsome hopes new revisions to school budget will lessen the impact of certain necessary cuts. At Tuesday night's school board meeting he unveiled a new proposal that was approved by school board leaders.

"What he has done is listened to the community, listened to our workforce and identified a number of areas for savings where we can do those 2 things," said Shawn Smith, Chesterfield Public School Spokesperson.

While the $26 million deficit won't change, the revisions include a 2 to 3 percent pay cut for staff as opposed to the previous 3 to 4 percent. 105 of the 300 jobs scheduled to be cut will be saved. But in order to do so, the school system will have to defer capital projects such as building maintenance, cut more jobs from the central office, and increase fees for things like facility rentals.

Perrymont Middle School could close altogether. It's the district's only middle school for at-risk students. That of course does not sit well with teachers there.

"Yes, I'm terribly disappointed. I've been a very faithful employee with Chesterfield for 36 years," said Pat Campbell a teacher at Perrymont Middle. "It makes me lose a lot of faith in some of our people that are making some of these decisions."

And if Perrymont Middle closes, those at risk students would have to return to their home school. This is not the final stage in this process, the board of supervisors must approve the budget proposal and school board leaders will approve it finally on April 27. Of course we will continue to follow this as it develops.

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