Isle of Wight residents voice concerns about school funding

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by Jonathan Costen, 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on April 23, 2013 at 6:20 AM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 23 at 8:30 AM

ISLE OF WIGHT CO.--School board members say if the Board of Supervisors doesn't give the school system the funds it needs, some tough decisions will be made.

One possibility: close Isle of Wight schools next month before the school year even ends.  That's an option the school board chair cannot stomach.

"But the kids they've got to learn that's our job" said Robert Eley "So besides to put a plan together to try to keep the schools open so the kids can learn I'm sorry if I get emotional, but it's tough." 

It's no secret in Isle of Wight that the School Board and the Board of Supervisors often butt heads on school funding, so the governing bodies tried to air out their differences in this public forum.

Three of the five supervisors shot down the school system's request for funding.

"The opportunity for us is to find a balance to make it work--because this requirement for us to come up with this kind of money is impossible" said one supervisor.

Residents from both sides of the issue listened closely.

Bruce Powell of Smithfield said, "As a retired person living on a fixed income, it's certainly important to me hold taxes as low as possible."

One parent, Jennifer Fannon, said "I'm concerned about education than anything my husband and I are both willing to pay higher taxes to fund education.  It is the most important thing we can do for our children."

No decision was made Monday night. but the residents who attended the meeting said they would like to see the the boards work with each other more and trust each other more.

There will be a public hearing on the budget on May 9 and then vote on May 16, said schools spokesperson Kenita Bowers.

 

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