However, the decision to move ahead with the $12.375 million budget was not an easy one, as board members struggled with balancing the needs of the division against the willingness of county supervisors to shoulder a larger share of the burden in the midst of difficult economic times.
In the end, the school board adopted the budget by a 4-1 margin at the meeting, which was held in the Mathews High School media center, with vice chairman Jen Little casting the lone nay vote.
"We are not good employers if we move forward with this budget," Little said, addressing concerns expressed at the public hearings that this would be the fourth year in a row that school employees have not seen an increase, while their real take-home pay has steadily dropped because of rising health insurance costs.
"A budget that sacrifices our commitment to education would be a budget that’s sacrificing our country’s future. That would be a budget that sacrifices our children’s future. And I will not let it happen," Little said. She then said that those words were taken from a speech on education delivered by President Obama just the day before at Kenmore Middle School in Arlington.