CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – Chesterfield County public school leaders are getting a head start on the 2012 budget. Tuesday night, they looked to the public for input on how to deal with already anticipated reductions.
"Over the last 2 years we've had great concern as we see reductions and funding from state, local and federal levels that is going to have a dramatic effect on our school division," said Shawn Smith with Chesterfield County Public Schools.
Some things on the table for 2012 include a 4 day school week, eliminating some athletic funding, and a decrease in employee salaries and benefits. One thing from the public session was clear, parents and students do not want to see the budget shortfall compromise academic excellence.
"You have to have a well rounded education and that's what I don't want to see our children miss is the arts the…let them be children but let them learn too," said concerned parent Nancy Dobrillovic-Holt.
Already hurting from the $80-million in cuts just made for the upcoming school year, parents offered these suggestions when considering cuts for 2012.
"Look at the little things. Don't look at the teacher's salaries. Don't look at the extra curriculars. Look at the little things. You'd be surprised," said Dobrillovic-Holt.
"The cuts are going to have to come through attrition and not filling the positions that are vacant," said parent Wayne Ozmore.
And this really is just the beginning of the 2012 school budget discussion here in Chesterfield County. You can expect to see several public meetings on where to go from here as the final numbers on the budget shortfall come in.