Loudoun schools to make $38M in budget cuts

LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. (WUSA9) -- Freshman sports and afternoon bus service are just two items on the chopping block of potential cuts in Loudoun County Public Schools.

The school system must cut $37.7 million from its budget since the county lowered taxes.

"To me, it was a manufactured crisis," said Loudoun parent Joy Maloney. She's angry that Loudoun County schools must cut 38 million dollars from its budget since county supervisors held the line on taxes.

"There's lot of things where we're falling behind already. And that's why they asked for this big increase is because we're falling behind," Maloney said. "Everybody else has full day Kindergarten. Everybody else has laptops in kids' hands, or teachers' hands. It's ridiculous."

The list of potential cuts goes system wide. It includes freshman sports teams, summer school, 15 assistant athletic directors, elementary and middle school foreign language, the plan for full day kindergarten for at-risk kids, a musical theater pilot program, eight math facilitators and 19 family life educators.

Loudoun school board vice chair Jill Turgeon says they'll try to save things that affect students, such as freshman sports, but won't be able to give pay raises.

Loudoun County elementary schools have an average of a little more than 23 children per class. That's the highest in the region, according to Turgeon. And that's one area the board will not touch, Turgeon says.

"If you look at our list of cuts, we have a lot of small amounts," Turgeon said. "We're really trying to avoid going for the big cuts. Increasing class sizes is something this board is not willing to do. Unfortunately, that's happened in boards past."

Loudoun parent Kore Brown may have to figure out another way to get her son to the regional science magnet Thomas Jefferson High School in Fairfax County if the bus gets cut. But she's okay with that.

"It'd definitely be something we'd have to readjust as a family. Figure out carpooling, things like that," Brown said. "But, I think I'm definitely in favor of balancing our school budget. And living in a better budget in Loudoun County."

Though the school system has to cut its budget, it is receiving a total $600 million from the county for next year. That's about 70 million more than this year.

Written by Peggy Fox


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