$1.8 million is what Roanoke county school leaders had to come up with to balance the budget. For months Fort Lewis Elementary School was on the chopping block, potentially saving $529,000. Mike Keen says he can breathe a sigh of relief; Fort Lewis will not close.
"Very happy. I am glad Doctor Lange was able to come up with a balanced budget where we can keep a school open," says Keen.
No full time employees will be laid off.
The Governor proposed a 2% raise for some employees this year. However school officials say it would only have covered 40% of the cost, and they would have to come up with more than $1 million to match the money for all employees; meaning no teacher pay raises this year. Some school board members say they understand what needed to be done
Even though it isn't reflected in the budget, Chairman Jerry Canada says raises are still a priority.
"Our employees are our most valuable resource it is not our buildings it is the people in the classroom," says Canada.
Savings were done through things like not filling positions if someone retired, federal cuts to career technical education, and locking in fuel prices for busses. The Board of Supervisors is also expected to give $600,000.
"We almost broke even and that is almost a win for us," says Canada.
Doctor Lorraine Lange says she is happy with the budget, but is already worried for the next year.
"Everything is back on the table I think every year you start over and over again so it depends on what we get from the state," says Lange.
Giving another year to find out what they can trim, without fully cutting.