Alamance-Burlington schools prepare for significant budget cuts

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ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. – The Alamance-Burlington School Board may have to make tough decisions before the upcoming school year.

Nothing is for certain yet, but the Alamance-Burlington school system is already considering 6 percent to 10 percent cuts to the school budget.  School officials won’t know how severe the cuts will be until the state and county provides them with exact numbers.

Superintendent Dr. Lillie Cox says the real world scenario is there's not enough money. The county is considering cutting funding by 10 percent or more than $3 million. That's on top of federal and state cuts she's already anticipating.

Cox says they may have to cut middle school athletics, teacher assistants, and foreign language classes -- other than Spanish -- to make up for deficits.

“It'll be up to the school board to decide if they'll cut into the fund balance more or cut programs,” said the Superintendent.

School board member Steve Van Pelt says there are other options if the county doesn't give the schools the money they want.

Pelt says the school system could call in a mediator to come up with a balance that works for everyone and if that doesn't work the school system could file a lawsuit against the county.

Jennifer Congdon went to Alamance-Burlington schools when she was a kid. She wants her 13-year-old son Blake to have no less.

“I took electives when I was in school. I took classes in German and Spanish and you know, it helps you prepare for what you want to do when you're an adult,” said Congdon.

That's why the mother hopes the school board doesn't cut extracurricular programs especially as her rising 8th grader just started playing soccer.

“The kids learn on the field how to socialize with their peers and it's not all about the books and about the learning. You can learn on a soccer field. You can learn on a softball team. It's part of being a team and part of the real world,” said Congdon.

The superintendent encourages parent to go to the next budget meeting to encourage commissioners to vote against cutting the schools’ budget.