Before Wednesday’s Chesterfield Board of Education Meeting, the Board released information on how it planned to spend the increase in funding on platforms like NextDoor and WhatsApp. The information released gave a detailed list of where the Board wanted the $1.5M to go, to be decided Wednesday.
“We cannot afford to give that money away as tax relief this year.”
-Board Member Amy Jablonski
After discussing regular business, it was time for the Board to vote on the use of the additional funds. Board Member Amy Jablonski (joined the board in 2017), did not agree with the budget item giving money back to the taxpayers. She noted that at all of the State Budget Hearings she attended along with parents, teachers, Board Members, and residents, she did not hear people asking for tax relief in their testimonies. “We cannot afford to give that money away as tax relief this year.” She recommended moving that money into a reserve since “we don’t know what is ahead.”
Jablonski made a formal motion to amend the budget, which failed.
Board Member Dr. Terran Brown put forward a compromise. Dr. Brown suggested putting that money into a fund that wouldn’t be accessible until the 2019-2020 school year. Hearing new information, the audience protested, asking for another public comments section, which Jablonski made a successful motion for.
After hearing the public’s comments on the potential compromise, the Board voted again on Jablonski’s original motion: Move the $214,429 into the Maintenance Reserve for the upcoming 2018-2019 school budget. This time, the motion passed unanimously.
Jablonski spoke exclusively to WBNC NEWS after the meeting.
“If I had my druthers, we would spend [the additional funds] this year on our students… that to me was the obvious compromise to be had between tax relief and spending all of the money this year… We are a reflection of our community, and this fight for fair funding was one that our community undertook… It took hundreds of people… It’s important that we’re respectful of that and respectful of the needs and the wants of our community and balancing that with what our school district needs.”