Lynchburg, VA - Parents can feel helpless when school budget season rolls around. But Lynchburg City Schools is hoping to change that by getting the community involved in the process.
On Tuesday, they started up their new community meetings all about the budget. The school system has until January to get their budget to City Council. But they want parents to know what is going on every step of the way.
Crunching budget numbers comes easy for folks at the school board, not so much for parents.
"It's very convoluted, and very difficult to understand," said Kris Lloyd, a Parent Teacher Organization Board member.
This is part of the reason the Superintendent is hosting community meetings about the budget way before the spring when the budget is set in stone.
"I'm glad they are starting early, because I think more people can educate themselves about this issue," said Lloyd.
At the meetings, parents will get to put in their two cents, and sound off about what they want to see in the school system.
"I think we need to continue to make sure we have enough teachers to keep our class sizes down," said Lloyd.
The past staffing cuts are concerns for school officials as well.
"Really we can't cut our way to excellence too we've got to look at adding back some positions," said Anthony Beckles, Chief Financial Officer for Lynchburg City Schools.
Chief Financial Officer Anthony Beckles says they will use parent feedback when it comes down to balancing the budget.
"Then we can see how that can fit into what we're doing or something we never even considered," said Beckles.
Student enrollment will also be on the table. The number of kids filling Lynchburg classrooms is on the decline, which could mean less money from the state and federal government. The community meeting on Tuesday starts at 7:00 p.m. in the E. C. Glass High School cafeteria. The next community budget meeting is October 18th at Heritage High School.