Virginia school divisions bracing for big budget cuts next school year

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MONTGOMERY CO., Va. (WDBJ7) School divisions are preparing for significant budget changes next year.

Federal and state cuts are adding up and predicted to make a big impact in Virginia schools.

Montgomery County Schools' Superintendent says it could be more than 600 thousand dollars total cut from the school division's budget.

No division will know the exact amount until Governor Terry McAuliffe releases his full budget next Monday.

Right now they know one thing for sure, they will face a challenging year ahead.

"We're already seeing a reduction in funds, some we already expected this year," said Mark Miear, the Montgomery County Schools Superintendent.

Changes to title funding by the federal government were expected from the new administration. In Montgomery County, the school division is expecting to lose about 150 thousand dollars in federal funds.

A composite index change locally, reflecting the growth of the county, means about 500 thousand dollars less from Virginia. There are a lot of unknowns.

"That title one money goes to our neediest schools, our schools that need the resources and in some of our schools that have students that come from some of the poorest families," Miear said.

The county is in need of more teachers but doesn't have money to pay for them. Funding cuts could halt the effort to create new positions.

"We have 50 fewer teachers today than we did in 2010 when there were dozens of teachers that were cut, but yet we have 250 more students today so we have a rise in our enrollment in Montgomery County," Miear said.

On Monday, Governor Terry McAuliffe rolled out his plan to correct the state's teacher shortage.

He says the state is down 1,000 teachers.

McAuliffe says he plans to fully automate the teacher licensing process and recruit and retain principals in the state's most challenging school districts.