Chesterfield School Budget: No cuts to resources, but no added staff

By Melissa Correa - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - For three years in a row Chesterfield schools can't find enough money to cover all of its expenses.  Tonight, the superintendent unveiled his budget.  Not a single pay cut or teaching position lost, but the sacrifices will continue.

In three minutes or less teachers and parents wearing their yellow badge of courage speak out against next school year's proposed budget.

"By the time it is restored however, the damage to the education of our children will already have been done," said Ryan Abbott.

"We are stealing from our children's futures," said James Wilson.

Midlothian high school teacher Debra Zawadzki is frustrated.  Government won't hand public education more money.

"Parents and the public at-large need to know that the quality of education is declining," said Zawadzki.

In fact, Chesterfield County is expected to give schools six million dollars less next fall.

"Over-crowded classrooms with needier students and exhausted teachers does not equal with student success," said Zawadzki.

Earlier today superintendent Marcus Newsome walked us through the budget. All employees will get a one-time, two-percent payment.

No cuts directly affect the classroom and all current programs will stay put.

"It may take years before our division regains resources that we lost with the $80 million in operation cuts," explained Newsome.

Nine positions at central office will get the ax and the four-day furlough continues.

But the number cruncher for the school system says - stay tuned.

(So stick with Chesterfield County? Things are getting better?)  "Absolutely,"  said David Myers.

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