Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Del. Saxman works to keep Commonwealth Center open but schools want their $$$

Democrat Gov. Tim Kaine, searching for budget cuts, suggested closing Staunton's Commonwealth Center for Children and Adolescents as part of his budget cuts, hoping to save $6 million ... but at the loss of 100 jobs in the Central Shenandoah Valley, an area that has been hit hard by recent job layoffs. The expected closing would take place in June 2009.

Staunton Del. Chris Saxman (R) searched the budget, something he is good at doing in his role with the VA Cost Cutting Caucus, and discovered money could be found if schools delayed purchasing textbooks, thus preventing 100 employees from being laid off.

The schools' reaction?

According to the Harrisonburg Daily News Record, some school systems do not seem willing to compromise to help save jobs:
Harrisonburg City Schools Superintendent Donald Ford said he knows the center serves a need, but he does not believe education should suffer to keep it open.

"I understand the value of maintaining the Commonwealth Center," Ford said. "[But] I don't think that should be pitted against local school divisions."
"I am not willing, as a local superintendent, to support taking ... money that the state has previously provided for us and putting it toward [the center]."
One hundred jobs will be lost if the Commonwealth Center is closed.

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