Friday, January 09, 2009

Augusta county schools see $4.7 million cut from state

Augusta County public schools are facing budget cuts after learning they may lose $4.7 million in state funds as part of Democrat Gov. Tim Kaine's attempt to balance the state budget and make up for a $2.9 billion shortfall.

The Waynesboro News Virginian reported this morning:
Augusta County Superintendent Gary McQuain told school board members Thursday that the county is slated to get a $4.7 million cut in state aid for next year.
McQuain said the challenge for the Augusta County Schools is to trim a $102 million budget that has little to cut.

He said the school district could choose not to replace retirees in the 2009-10 budget, but McQuain does not expect many because of the troubled economy.
Dr. McQuain expanded on possible cuts, according to the Staunton News Leader:
No decisions have yet been made as to how the deficit will be met, but cuts may lie in leaving open positions vacated by retiring teachers, instituting mandated leaves of absence for certain staff, putting off textbook purchases, and in the worst-case scenario, layoffs.
Meanwhile, Augusta County is mailing out real estate reassessment increases at a time when the state is making cuts in many areas including Augusta County public schools.

Waynesboro's Invista plant laid off 200 workers in December with notices sent to all others of possible additional layoffs ... the Commonwealth Center for children with mental disorders is scheduled to be closed down by the end of June laying off 100 workers ... other area business layoffs are expected.

Wall Street is up and down, the U.S. government has taken on huge financial debt ... even media giant Gannett, parent company of the Staunton News Leader, announced in October it would be laying off 10% of its work force ... and layoffs were announced at Media General which owns the Waynesboro News Virginian and Richmond Times Dispatch.

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