Lynchburg school funding debate continues between city council, school board

The two boards are planning to have a joint meeting over school funding on April 16

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Members of the Lynchburg City Council and Lynchburg City School Board are not on the same page when it comes to school funding for the 2024-2025 school year.

After a contentious joint meeting two weeks ago, the two boards had their own respective meetings on Tuesday to discuss the matter further. However, both boards did not take much time to talk it over.

At City Council’s work session meeting, the schools proposed City Council transfer the remaining $1,671,820 in the Fiscal Year 2024 LCS Contingency Reserve to the Instruction category.

In a letter sent to the city, the school division said, “This request is crucial for addressing several pressing financial challenges faced by our school division.”

However, some City Council members say the money could be used for the deficit next year.

“I was hopeful that we could possibly use some of this extra that wasn’t spent...this reserve for 2024 to be utilized in some capacity to help them in a transition period in 2025,” Councilman Jeff Helgeson said.

While City Council was having their meeting, the Lynchburg School Board was having a meeting of their own. The agenda had a set time to discuss the budget for the next school year but several members talked about waiting on the City Council to see if they approve or deny the $4.3 million extra they are asking for.

At both meetings, community members called out the boards for the overdue conversations on the budget.

“Yes, they’ve reduced funding. Yes, inflation has made their allocation go less far. This board and administration have failed to actually submit a concrete plan to City Council that actually gave them trust in how you manage funds,” one parent told the school board.

Philip Stump attended both meetings and addressed both boards.

“We are becoming penny wise and pound poor. It will hurt this city and your property values in the long run. Most of all it will hurt our fundamental values in our children,” Stump told City Council.

The two boards are planning to have a joint meeting over school funding on April 16 at 6 p.m.

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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