Budget hearing coming up for Lunenburg County Public Schools

Published 7:33 pm Wednesday, January 4, 2023

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What should the priorities be for this year’s budget for Lunenburg County Public Schools? Does the district need to focus on more money for teachers? What about building renovations and classroom resources? On Monday, Lunenburg County residents will have a chance to weigh in and give their thoughts.

Lunenburg County Public Schools will hold a public hearing on the FY2024 budget on Monday, Jan. 9, beginning at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held at Lunenburg Middle School, before the school board meeting. The school is located at 583 Tomlinson Road in Victoria.

This is the beginning of budget season, at a time of both positive news and challenges for the district. On the positive side, this year’s accreditation report brought good news for Lunenburg County Public Schools. Every school in the district either met or exceeded state standards in all categories, according to the data released Thursday, Sept. 22.

And then there’s the challenges. As The Dispatch reported, by late fall, enrollment was down 31 students from the division budgeted number of 1520. That includes 117 who switched to homeschooling and some who moved out of the county.

Why does this matter? Because the district receives $8,200 from the state per student. The district’s enrollment last year was 1509 students and they based their current budget on 1520 students.

If the enrollment number remains lower than the budgeted 1520 through March 31, the district will have to return funds for those students. Specifically, if the number remains at 1489, the district would lose $250,000 in state funds.

That’s all part of the budget discussions, which begin next Monday and run through March 30. After Jan. 9, the next budget work session will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 26 in the library of Lunenburg Middle School.