February 24, 2017
By Mickey Powell
MARTINSVILLE – City Council members went back to school to learn on Thursday.
They didn’t learn any reading, writing or arithmetic, though.
While touring the city’s four public schools and the Clearview Early Childhood Center, they observed students and teachers during lessons and talked with administrators to learn how the schools operate and find out what the schools desire to have to better educate students.
Although the Martinsville School Board oversees the schools, the council provides them millions of dollars each year to complement state and federal funding they receive toward their operations.
Monday night, the school board will receive a budget proposal for the new fiscal year that will start July 1. The spending plan will specify how much local funding will be sought from the council.
Schools officials have said they will seek whatever they think is necessary to ensure that students are taught well. However, council members have indicated that because of financial constraints, the schools will be lucky to receive as much as the $6,437,654 they initially got for the current fiscal year. That sum was a decrease of more than $300,000 from the previous year.
In January, though, the council gave back to the schools $614,509 in funds allocated to them in the past year and which were not spent.
There was no discussion during the tour of how much the schools actually might receive for the next fiscal year.
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