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Decision Virginia Archive 8/08- 7/12

One Local School District Forecasts Big Layoffs

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We are just starting to truly understand the real impact of Governor Tim Kaine‘s proposed cuts to education. While the Governor is proposing a broad set of cuts in many different sectors, education is far and away the largest portion of the budget. It is impossible to fill a $3 billion dollar hole, without education feeling some pain.

Governor Kaine has repeatedly said that his goal is to avoid hurting instruction. He believes he can cut, what could be anywhere from $400 to $700 million without major changes to the classroom. Education experts we have talked to say that isn’t possible. On Friday, we talk to one superintendent who is already starting to calculate the cost.

Dr. Charles Maranzano is the superintendent at Dinwiddie County Public Schools. (You can see his blog by clicking here) A small school district with about 750 employees. Early estimates show Maranzano will be forced to trim close to $3 million dollars from his budget. He told me he simply cannot do that without taking some from the classroom. (73% of his budget is spent on cost directly associated to instruction). As it stands now, Dinwiddie is preparing to cut 59 positions. 34 of which will be teachers. A real illustration of where the pain will be felt. 

Now of course with $3 billion still to cut, it has to come from somewhere. I asked Dr. Maranzano, if not from education than from where? He says the education community will be able to absorb some cuts, but he believes the Governor needs to explore other sources of revenues. He suggested placing tolls on some roadways, or more tax increases above and beyond just his proposal to tax cigarettes.

You can see my report from Friday night by clicking here..  

Written by Ryan Nobles

January 17, 2009 at 4:42 pm

Posted in State Budget

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