Danville Public Schools' funding needs could mean cutting city services

Report suggests school district needs an extra $2 million annually from city

DANVILLE, Va. – An independent financial report presented to Danville's school board last week says the district is on track to have a $41.1 million deficit in five years.

The report suggests the school district should start getting an extra $2 million a year from the city.

But Danville City Manager Ken Larking said Wednesday that's easier said than done.

"With the revenue stream that is coming in now, it is not possible to add that much more revenue without finding some place to cut or add new revenue," Larking said.

Specifically, if major cuts are made to free up money for the school district, city services will be what get cut. 

"All the little cuts and all the low-hanging fruit that the city has been able to cut out of the budget over the past several years has already occurred," Larking emphasized. "So we have to decide what services are we going to provide and how we're going to pay for them. That's the way that budgets get balanced and we move forward as a community."

What services would be cut is something that had not been discussed Wednesday.

Once the school board comes to City Council members with a budget, council members and school board members will have to decide how to move forward.

Danville Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Stan Jones said the first draft of the budget is usually presented in March.

"About $3.1 million is what our estimate (that our budget will be) is, but we're still working through that," Jones said.

Last year, the district asked for about $4 million but only got about $2 million.

"Our needs last year are different from our needs this year, so it's really hard to compare it year to year," Jones said.

Larking said a tax increase is always a possibility, but added that, as of Wednesday, it wasn't necessarily something City Council members were considering.

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