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Hey! Interesting and informative post. Tough picture for the ACPS.

One question that comes to mind is the revenue sharing agreement between the County and the City. The whole agreement is confusing to me.

How can the County be in the budget crisis, but be transferring money to the City, which has a $6M budget surplus.

What's the history of the revenue sharing plan?

Revenue sharing funds are taken off the top and impact the entire Albemarle County budget. In this year's budget (FY 2008), it amounts to a $13.2 million transfer straight to the City of Charlottesville. These payments have been a growing part of Albemarle's budget since 1982, and which are now to solve a problem that no longer exists--annexation. A year after the revenue sharing agreement was passed, the General Assembly made City annexation of a surrounding county's land illegal. Even so, there was no escape clause in the agreement for Albemarle. Thus revenue sharing will continue until both parties consent to ending the arrangement.

That said, the Albemarle County School Board is supporting state budget amendments advanced by Delegates Bell and Toscano that would at least recognize the revenue sharing payments in the computation of Albemarle County's composite index (which is the state funding formula). If this was fully taken into account, Albemarle would receive an additional $2.8 million from the state next year. It has little chance of being approved by the rest of the General Assembly.

Other resources: Description of revenue sharing and a detailed list of the payments to Charlottesville during FY1983 - FY2008.

Brian Wheeler

How abput something simple like turning OFF the school buses at athletic events. On numerous occasions I have attended Alb. CTY. sporting events to see the school buses run the entire time of a sporting event. This is NOT necessary (for a warm bus, it is a disiel engine & its ok- wrong...) and a total waste of rsources. Consevation in all areas can go a long way in helping this year's budget & next years.

Heather - Such a practice would be quite beneficial on several fronts. It is better for the environment, better for the health of people near the buses, and as you mentioned, lowers fuel costs. This issue has been raised by the School Board's Health Advisory Committee, but I do not believe any policies have been changed at this point. There are also a couple of bills about this issue making their way through the General Assembly. Here is a link to Delegate David Toscano's bill. It says, in part: "no operator of any diesel-powered school bus shall idle the engine of such bus on school premises while waiting for students to board or exit the vehicle at any school, nor shall such operator start the engine of any such school bus until ready to leave school premises..."

Speaking as one board member and not for the board, I think this would be a good law, but even if it doesn't pass, I hope Albemarle can implement its own policies in this area.

Brian Wheeler

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