Mathews schools adopt $12.375 million budget

by Charlie Koenig - Posted on Mar 16, 2011 - 03:29 PM

Photo: MHS teacher Al Thomas speaks to the school board about the 2011-2012 budget at Tuesday night’s meeting. Photo by Charlie Koenig.

MHS teacher Al Thomas speaks to the school board about the 2011-2012 budget at Tuesday night’s meeting. Photo by Charlie Koenig.

Following a pair of public hearings where teachers pleaded for an employee raise or step increase, the Mathews County School Board eventually adopted a draft budget Tuesday night that calls for level funding for the 2011-2012 school year.

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.