Last night, the Goochland County School Board adopted its amended budget for the 2020-2021 school year. Although this budget reflects a significant reduction in revenue in the amount of $1,570,539 (-4.85%) from the operating budget adopted by the School Board in February and a $389,121 (-1.25%) decline in revenue over our current budgeted amounts, our focus on what matters most has remained. No employee will experience a pay cut. Benefits for our employees have remained intact. There were no cuts to the high quality programs that we are able to provide to our students. In addition, we have prudently set aside $225,214 of Federal CARES Act stimulus funding to help us meet unknown expenses of adapting to various operating scenarios in the fall.
We have been able to maintain our standard of excellence by tightening our belts, reducing spending without impacting the resources available for instruction, and continuing our mindset of strategically abandoning practices as we forecast what a return to schooling will be as we plan for the coming academic year. I am proud of the work that our team has conducted over the course of the past few weeks to make these difficult decisions. Our original budget request took over 5 months to build. We revised it in just four short weeks.
At the core of who we are as a school division is the value that we place on optimism. I remain hopeful that economic conditions within our county, our state, and our nation will improve. Should the financial variables associated with our revenue picture improve, we are hopeful that we can collaborate with the Board of Supervisors to discuss a future restoration of local funding. Our partnership with them to support public education in our community is longstanding and one that we value greatly.
There is no doubt that we will overcome the challenges that we have all faced over the past several weeks. I am confident that Team Goochland will continue to thrive and excel, even in the face of adversity. I long for the day when we can have our students, families, and employees all together again. A return to learning in the Fall is going to be so very special!
Stay healthy and well!
Jeremy J. Raley, Ed.D.