SPECIAL MEETING OF THE CHARLOTTESVILLE CITY COUNCIL
NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETING
A SPECIAL MEETING OF THE CHARLOTTESVILLE CITY COUNCIL WILL BE
HELD ON Friday, January 20, 2012, AT 12:00 p.m. IN THE Basement Conference
THE PROPOSED AGENDA IS AS FOLLOWS:
School Board Luncheon
BY ORDER OF THE MAYOR BY Paige Barfield
SECOND FLOOR CONFERENCE ROOM – January 20, 2012
Council met in special session on this date with the following members present:
Ms. Galvin, Ms. Smith, Mr. Norris, Ms. Szakos.
Ms. Rosa Atkins presented on the Governor’s budget and the impact it will have
on the school’s budget. Mr. Ed Gillespie presented a powerpoint presentation. Since
2009, the schools have lost $3 million in state funding. Enrollment has increased by 14
students. Resulting cuts in services have included increased class sizes, elimination of
instructional assistants, and reduction in administrative and other support roles.
Going forward, the total negative impact for the governor’s proposed budget for
2012-2013 is just over $4 million. Council and School Board members reviewed specific
budget cuts that could occur.
Ms. Rosa Atkins reviewed recommendations for budget reductions, including
closing an elementary school, reducing assistant principals at the schools, reducing
programs, reducing employee benefits, and administration and division-wide support
Council and School Board members discussed enrollment numbers over time,
attempts to increase enrollment, and factors that impact enrollment. Ms. Atkins reviewed
factors that increase attractiveness of City schools to families, as well as marketing and
Ms. Smith said a factor in losing parents from City schools is lack of
acknowledgment that some schools are high poverty schools. Ms. Galvin said one of the
reasons Johnson Elementary is doing so well is because of housing policies from a
decade ago that increased income variety in the neighborhood. We need to be sure we
have diverse, economically stable neighborhoods for our schools to succeed. School
board members responded that they are well aware of the problem. There are several
school board members lobbying on behalf of those students and are working to ensure
that everyone has equal access.
Mr. Jones said the City cannot provide a figure for what we can give to help
before we have our budget discussions. We are also facing a $1 million deficit. It will
take leadership to figure out how to close the gap for both entities. Mr. Norris asked for a
chart showing the cost savings for an incremental increase in class size. Ms. Atkins said
if we increase class size grades five through eight by one, we could save about two
positions, or $114,000. At the elementary school level, we cannot increase class sizes.
At the high school, there is a literacy requirement for the size of classes, so that is an
Council and School Board members discussed opening dialogue with the County
to address budget issues and reviewed historical attempts to do so. Ms. Galvin said it is
important to try to collaborate again, especially now that both entities are facing a budget
Ms. Atkins said the coming weeks will be very difficult as we seek to make cuts
that will balance the budget. Big ticket items will be on the table. She asked Council for
direction as soon as possible. Ms. Szakos said Council members should attend some of
the school’s budget meetings to hear feedback from parents.