Lynchburg City Schools gives glimpse into potential cuts for upcoming budget

The district is facing a $17.7M deficit in the upcoming budget because of rising costs and less money from the state

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Lynchburg City Schools is facing its next challenge in trying to address a $17.7 million budget deficit.

Discussions over the deficit started earlier in the year when Superintendent Crystal Edwards gave her preliminary fiscal year 2025 budget presentation.

On Tuesday, the school board met to continue those discussions. It was also the first chance they got to see some more details about the potential cuts the district is looking at making.

LCS is building its budget based on Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s recommended biennium budget. Assuming level funding (meaning the school district gets the same amount) from the city, the division is projecting $108.3 million in overall revenue. “Status quo” expenditures total $126 million leaving a $17.7 million deficit.

The division is also expecting $2 million in higher utility costs and $4.7 million in additional health insurance costs, plus $1 million less in state revenue from the governor’s proposed budget.

Lynchburg City Schools' proposed cuts in upcoming budget (WSLS 10)

According to the proposal and the numbers are not finalized, the district is looking at cutting 67 positions from the ‘division level’. Cuts also include $3.3 million in CARES Act-funded programs along with $2 million from mental health services.

Martin Day, Vice-Chair of the board, along with other board members are concerned with getting rid of mental health services.

“One thing we can do that would make the biggest single impact on our students’ academic performance is we could solve all the behavior problems but it takes dollars to do that. That’s the unfortunate thing we’re looking at here,” Day said.

Derrick Brown, the Director of Student Services in the district, also cautioned the board about making such a cut.

“If those funds are not available, we’ll have to reduce the amount of services. We’ll be further from our goal of providing mental health services for all our students in all of our schools,” Brown said.

The administration is working with principals to identify another $5.2 million in “school-level” cuts spread out across all schools.

About the Author

Connor Dietrich joined the 10 News team in June 2022. Originally from Castle Rock, Colorado, he's ready to step away from the Rockies and step into the Blue Ridge scenery.

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