Tough decisions will have to be made sooner rather than later in Botetourt County. Officials there are facing a $1 million shortfall in next year's budget.
They decided to ask citizens what they should do and it drew a big crowd on Tuesday night.
More than 500 people came to the meeting inside Lord Botetourt High School. The auditorium was packed to the point where people had to stand against the back wall.
It began with county officials laying out the numbers.
They told the crowd the state is requiring them to put out more money for retirement and that's why they're now facing a deficit.
"Don't blame this on the county or anyone like that," says Superintendent Dr. Anthony Brads, "It's actually cost shifting from the state down to the local level, to local school boards."
About 40 people spoke including parents and students. They all made one thing clear: school programs are important.
"It's a shame that we're in this situation," says student Seth Wilkinson, 'A lot of this comes from the state passing down unfunded mandates and we're in a tough position. But since we are having to make compromise one thing we shouldn't compromise is our academics. If we hope to be viable in the future as a county then we need strong youth and the only way to do that is through strong education."
"I would be okay with raising the taxes a little and I hate to say that," says parent Andrea Wilson, " I know a lot of people are against that."
Here's the list of possible cuts from Botetourt County. Options include salary reductions, staff reductions, eliminate courses, retirement plan or school athletics.
The county could also charge a fee for school athletics or possibly close an elementary school.
Botetourt County needs to make a decision on budget cuts in the next two weeks.