LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Lynchburg City School board approved its operating budget Tuesday for the 2021-2022 school year, but it’s raising some concerns.
“The budget, as it was presented, reads like a wish list,” said Andrew Glover, founder of the Conservative Parents of Lynchburg group.
Glover says LCS is spending money they don’t have.
The $126 million plan appears to show more spending on administration than schools, but school leaders say they’ll still have ‘CARES’ funding available to help cover costs.
More than $1 million goes to hiring positions including data analyst, public relations, and human resources.
“It’s misrepresentation at its finest. There’s nuggets of truth, but it’s not the whole story,” said Glover.
Karl Loos, president of the Lynchburg Education Association, says now’s not the time for certain hires.
“Those types of positions, I think, have people just sort of questioning, ‘is that something we need to do right here and right now?” said Loos.
But he adds he is pleased to see a focus on hiring mental health experts.
“School psychologists are going to be a big thing, I think, across the country next year, as we see more and more kids back into the building and having to deal with, sort of, long-term effects of the pandemic,” said Loos.
There could be students who stay home, as nearly $1.1 million would go to creating a remote academy, but Glover says there are unanswered questions.
“They don’t know how many students are going to be in a remote academy. They’ve already demonstrated that they don’t do the best in a remote environment,” said Glover.
Loos argued many students are benefiting from virtual learning.
“I’ve seen more ‘A’s in every single one of my classes at every level, this year compared to last year, and that’s based on percentage. And some of those percentages are big, I’m seeing a 40 percent increase,” said Loos.
School leaders will present the budget to the city council on March 30.