School budget worries parents and students in Botetourt County

BOTETOURT, Va. (WDBJ7) Many school divisions are working on budgets, but talks in Botetourt County have some parents worried about the future of one program for students. Due to budget issues the county is considering cutting several positions that includes the agriculture teacher position.

"It's budget time. Everybody is going through the same turmoil that we are, lack of money, nothing new. This particular we are beginning to face some serious lack of funding," said James Beahm, a school board member. Administration said enrollment has declined in agriculture classes, and they are trying to balance employee raises. The agriculture program at the high schools is active and some parents and students were worried about cuts. "I think this is almost a nickel and dime solution to a bigger problem. So I would ask that there would be a long-term sustainable solution to budget problems not a temporary Band-Aid," said Amy White, a parent whose children graduated from James River High School.

They are also proposing to cut one elementary school teacher and six secondary teachers - all together just over $500,000. Many parents and students attended the school board meeting and shared ideas.

One proposed solution is to move a technical teacher to the ag teacher role at James River High School. "The biggest alternatives is that came out is that we need more innovative approaches to this," said Beahm.
After another review the budget will be submitted to board of supervisors and a public hearing is set for March 28th.