Community concerned about possible school budget cuts in Washington County, VA


WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. - Tentative cuts in school funding in the Washington County, Virginia budget has some parents and educators worried.

Lindsay Price has two children in the county school system. She and other parents received a budget update from the school board indicating that potential cuts could threaten many programs. Things like special education, art supplies and band uniforms that rely on local funds.

"You take your children to school every day, you assume everything's going to remain the same," said Price." They're going to have the same classes, they're going to have the same funding that they need, and the supplies are going to be there. Then suddenly you realize that could be taken away and we have to fight for our kids."

Price isn't the only one upset, parents and teachers have formed a Facebook page discussing the controversy and it has close to 800 likes so far. Dozens plan to attend the board of supervisors meeting in two weeks on May 23rd.

"We're sad that we didn't get involved before, the past two years cuts that were made,' said Price.

The County Board of Supervisors is coming to the end of their budget negotiations, and the tentative budget so far includes a more than $400,000 local funding cut to schools.

"This trend of losing money is not one that makes it real easy for our school board leaders to determining finalized budgets," said Brian Ratliff- School Superintendent.

It's still a tentative budget and things could change, but if this budget cut is approved it will mean $1.6 million has been cut from the schools budget in the last three years.

"School life is big," said Ratliff. "It's so much more than just sitting in a classroom and so all of those things are meaningful."

News Five reached out to the County Board of Supervisors Chairman and the County Administrator, they both declined an interview until the budget is finalized. However they did say that nothing is official, and they are still actively working on the budget to best allocate funds.