More unwelcome budget news came for Loudoun County Public Schools Wednesday night.
During their second February business meeting, members of the Loudoun Board of Supervisors were briefed by county staff that Cost of Competing education funding from the state – money funneled from Richmond into the region and then divvied between local school systems – will likely fall significantly short of what's due to Northern Virginia.
Recent Cost of Competing projections from the county came in around $35 million for the region, but proposed budget submissions working through the General Assembly have that figure listed at roughly $5 million.
“The only thing I can say is schools did not account for that in their [budget],” John Sandy, assistant county administrator, said, searching for a bright spot in the news. “ … I don't hold out good hope.”
Wednesday's discussion of the low Cost of Competing funds came one day after county Chairman Scott York (R-At Large), in a joint Board of Supervisors-School Board meeting, told School Board members the county will not fully fund the school system's $949 million adopted budget. Currently, there's an estimated $40 million shortfall between the LCPS budget and what the supervisors would allocate at the equalized tax rate.
Members of the Board of Supervisors and School Board will meet again the first week of March to further discuss their respective spending plans.