Lynchburg mayor praises school board for returning funds

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LYNCHBURG, Va (WDBJ7) -- Lynchburg Mayor Treney Tweedy issued a statement Friday in response to the school district’s announcement that it would return $862,000 in funding back to the city due to an overestimate in the district’s budget.

In a press release Thursday, Lynchburg City Schools said the district will be returning a total of $862,000. Superintendent Dr. Crystal Edwards went to Lynchburg City Council on March 26 looking for funds to fill the salary gap. After tense negotiations, council agreed to provide $862,000, in addition to the regular school budget, to pay for teacher raises for the 2019-2020 school year.

“The leadership of Lynchburg City Schools, Superintendent Crystal Edwards, Board Chair Susan Morrison and members of the Lynchburg City School Board have stood behind their commitment to transparency, working collaboratively and diligently with City Council to fund the needs of our students and staff of LCS,” Tweedy said in the statement. “During the past year, they have met with City Council during joint retreats and individual meetings, discussed and received the often uncomfortable and critical suggestions of all City Council members at various times regarding school division operations, programming and annual budgets. They listened and acted on what they heard.”

“While the questioning and open debates have not been easy or comfortable, they have been necessary, and the Superintendent and Board leadership heard the charge put before them by Council – ‘to become a stronger, more effective, and efficient and successful school division for our students, staff and our community.’ Superintendent Edwards took seriously the charge given to her one year ago,” the statement continued.

“I am pleased that in this new era of school division leadership, they question more, dig deeper, and establish new review processes, thus, learning they have the additional funding to support their needs, even after the normal budget process winds down. Returning the $862,000 to the City is a strong statement of their commitment to being good stewards of public education funding.”

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