Supervisors leaning toward categorical funding of schools

by Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Sep 22, 2010 - 05:37 PM

Though no formal vote was taken, a majority of the Gloucester County Board of Supervisors voiced support for a switch to categorical funding for the county’s school system during a joint work session between the two boards on Tuesday night in the Gloucester Library’s community room.

School board chair Ann Burruss posed the first question in the discussion, and asked, "What is the difference? What are you trying to fix in suggesting changing our method of funding?"

A long-time advocate of funding the schools by category, at-large supervisor Michelle Ressler said that "categorical funding allows more transparency to the constituents we are both elected by; to know where the money is going."

"The only thing that would change (by moving from lump sum to categorical funding) would be that the community would have less input on the budget," said Abingdon district school board member Randy Burak. "Consequently, openness and transparency would be lessened."

Burak said with many challenges on the table such as unfunded capital needs, "we’re focusing on a topic that is more politically motivated than anything else."