by Megan Schiffres
LANCASTER—By a 4-1 vote, the Lancaster board of supervisors on May 7 approved the proposed $11,646,100 school budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year during their monthly meeting May 7.
Board members Ernest Palin, Jason Bellows, William Lee and Robert Westbrook voted in favor of the motion to accept the proposed school budget. Member Jack Larson voted against the proposed budget, arguing that funding to the schools should be decreased due to the declining student population of the county.
The average daily membership of students, which the Virginia Department of Education uses to assess the per pupil expenditure calculations for school districts, has shown an overall trend of decline at Lancaster County Public Schools since at least 2009, according to director of budget and finance Whitney Barrack. This year, the district is educating an average of 1,038 students every day.
“You’ve got significantly declining enrollment. For me, the focus for this board needs to be on the increase in funding from the locality, the county of Lancaster, and that’s upwards of 5%,” said Larson.
The overall school budget represents…