MCPS working to reduce budget by over $4.5 million

Published: May. 17, 2023 at 2:34 PM EDT
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CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Montgomery County Public Schools is working to reduce its proposed budget by over $4.5 million.

MCPS requested over $62 million from Montgomery County but only received $58.4 million. Another reduction of $874,903 comes from the Virginia state budget.

These reductions mean tough decisions have to be made within Montgomery County Public Schools.

Tuesday night, the school board had its first look at the proposed reductions, which include nearly 20 staff positions.

“There will be no teacher that will lose their job as a result of these cuts,” MCPS Superintendent Bernard Bragen, Jr. said. “They will be done through attrition and we think we could do it with minimal impact to the classrooms as well as to our programs.”

There will be cuts to 6.5 positions in the MCPS Administrative Office.

The School board approved the proposed personnel changes.

“I don’t think it’s fair to put anybody up for discussion with the school board, not letting them know that the potential outcome may be that they were approved for a change, so the school board did approve those changes, and meetings and conversations are taking place today, with all those that are impacted,” Bragen Jr. said.

On top of staff cuts, the new proposed budget takes away a proposed retention bonus for staff and eliminates funding for student school supplies.

“When you’re looking at significant reductions, and you want to mitigate the impact as much as you can in the classroom, sometimes you have to make those hard decisions” Bragen said.

The new budget is expected to be voted on at the MCPS school board meeting June 6.

“It’s never easy when forced to make budget cuts, because we do recognize when you’re talking about millions of dollars, that impacts people’s lives and we don’t take that lightly, and I would hope in the future, we’re not in that same situation,” Bragen said.