VB Superintendent says final budget has no layoffs or course cuts

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Beach School Board members finalized the 2024-2025 budget and shipped it off to City Council for a final stamp of approval. It comes shortly after parents raised concerns over potential cuts to fine arts courses.

No one is losing their jobs, according to Superintendent Dr. Donald Robertson. They still plan on renewing contracts for any full-time employee within the school division.

“If you’re a full-time employee this year, you will be a full-time employee next year unless you choose to retire, resign, or unless you choose to accept a promotion,” he said.

The roughly $954 million spending package has a contingency in place, explaining what they will do if the city decides to move forward with a 2-cent tax cut. This would cause the budget to go down by about $5.7 million.

Robertson said they had to raise the staffing ratio. It is left up to individual school leaders to decide on how to split teachers across multiple subjects and schools. Any class that is being cut from next year is being caused by not enough students signing up, not because of the budget.

Their plan does include eliminating a few assistant principal, technician and library positions. This would be done by not rehiring those positions when the current staffers retire or quit. If the citywide tax cut goes through, they would forego replacing school buses, along with some landscaping and maintenance expenses.

Although enrollment issues are leading to tough decisions by individual school principals, Robertson said he and the rest of the school board are doing what they can to keep fine arts courses intact.

“I completely understand the anxieties it causes if you have a child passionate in a particular area,” Robertson said. “You want your child who’s passionate in that area to have the opportunity to benefit from a course in that area.”

The pay-to-play sports idea was eliminated from the budget at the meeting last week.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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