School Board Asks for 55 Percent of Budget

School Board Asks for 55 Percent of Budget

Western Loudoun Residents Speak Out on Location of New High School

Lovettesville resident Carol Vacca has a long commute to work. So does her daughter.

Vacca complained to School Board members about her children’s commute to school everyday. Many Lovettesville students commute two hours a day to schools outside their community. Oftentimes, middle-school students sit next to high-school seniors. Vacca and other parents at the School Board meeting expressed concern about their children’s safety.

"You have 11-year-olds with 18-year-olds, talking about everything under the sun, sex stories," Vacca said.

BOB OHNEISER (Broad Run) said he would put the school bus issue on the health and wellness committee agenda next week.

Deanna Silverman recently moved her three children from Long Island, N.Y., to Lovettesville.

Silverman described the former town she lived in as small, but it had its own elementary, middle and high school. The next town, one mile away, had its own schools as well.

"A school north of Route 9 makes sense. A school for our children makes sense," she said.

Mark Nuzzaco (Catoctin), a former resident of New York said Long Island, N.Y., is completely different than Northern Virginia.

"We’re not going to do that. That’s not who we are," he said.

John Andrews (Potomac) spoke in favor of a western Loudoun high school in Hamilton.

They need the money and we have the opportunity to provide them with the fiscal benefits of having a middle school and public school there, he said.

Although Andrews did not agree with Lovettsville residents at the meeting, he said it was warranted to acquire land in the Lovettesville area now because "the land won’t be there five years from now."

The School Board will hold a public hearing on the location of Western Loudoun High School Monday, March 6, at 5:30 p.m., at the Loudoun County Public School Administration Building in Ashburn.

THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS will hold two public hearings on the county budget Wednesday, March 1, at 3 p.m. and at 6:30 p.m., at the Loudoun County Public School Administration Building in Ashburn. If necessary, the Board of Supervisors will hold another public hearing Thursday, March 2, at 6:30 p.m., at the same location.

Loudoun County Public School Superintendent Edgar B. Hatrick reminded School Board meeting attendees that a large part of the county budget goes toward Loudoun’s public schools.

Hatrick gave a presentation on the distribution of the proposed increase in local tax revenue between school and county government services at the meeting.

Typically, 70 percent of the county budget goes toward schools and 30 percent of the budget goes toward government services, Hatrick said.

Andrews pointed out that this year’s local tax revenue will be divided between the schools and government services differently.

If the local tax revenue is increased, 54 percent of this year’s revenue will be distributed to the school system, leaving 45 percent of local tax revenue to county government services, Andrews said.

Loudoun County Schools lowered its fiscal year 2007 capital projects proposed budget from $20,205,000 in FY '06 to $14,507,000. The county government tripled its capital projects proposed budget, from $10,458,571 in FY '06 to $30,180,000 in FY '07.

The School Board will present its budget to the Board of Supervisors Wednesday, March 8, at 6:30 p.m., at the County Government Building in Leesburg.

"I look forward to meeting with the Board of Supervisors to explain what our needs are and why," School Board chairperson Robert DuPree (Dulles) said.