‘Find the money’: Lynchburg parents receive sign of hope schools may remain open for one more year

T.C. Miller and Sandusky Elementary may remain open for one more year if the city finds the money

LYNCHBURG, Va. – It may be the sign of hope a group of Lynchburg City School parents has been waiting for as they were told their schools will remain open for at least one more year.

A packed house filled City Council chambers on Tuesday for a public hearing over the city’s proposed Fiscal Year 2025 budget. One topic on everyone’s minds was schools.

Lynchburg City Schools and the school board finalized their local funding request and asked the city for $43.7 million. However, the city council has only allotted $39.4 million, which is the same as last year.

Over the course of the past few months, the conversation has continued but gotten nowhere with both City Council and the school board pointing fingers at each other.

Carly Sheaffer, a parent at T.C. Miller Elementary, spoke on behalf of many parents who have grown frustrated by the delay.

“I know as City Council you blame the school board and admin for their lack of planning, foresight and vision. I get that! The school board blames City Council and says you hold the per strings and need to fully fund education. I get that,” Sheaffer said. “Both City Council and the school board need to stop pointing fingers and instead work together to solve this.”

Teachers also got up to speak about the importance of investing in education.

“Why is this budget...why is it we ask the money that we do? It’s because we’re not here to send kids home. We’re not here to send them away back into the community. We’re here to educate them and that, that costs money,” E.C. Glass High School teacher, Aaron Reid said.

The public spoke for over an hour before Mayor Stephanie Reed addressed the audience.

“Our city manager has let me know that five council members have come to him and requested that he find the money,” Reed said. “Tonight you guys can all, you, your families and your students can know that at least for the next year, you have a home.”

The question still remains of where the money will come from and how much it will take to keep the schools open. It’s also a short-term solution as the schools are still set to be closed at some point.

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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