City of Manassas

The following was among actions taken at the Oct. 9 meeting of the Manassas School Board. For more information, call 361-0166.

BUDGET -- The net reduction in state aid to Manassas schools for this fiscal year will amount to about $119,000 or just under 2 percent of the projected $6.6 million in state aid to city schools.

The reduction is less than the $330,000 or 5 percent cut school officials had been prepared for last month. State aid represents more than 20 percent of $31.4 million school budget.

The School Board this fall set up a $1.2 million reserve fund in the budget to cover the expected state funding cuts. But Superintendent James Upperman said at last Thursday's meeting he thought the "best course of action is to use those funds as an insurance policy . . . . We'll probably need to use some of that to fund next year's budget." This fiscal year ends next June 30.

Gov. L. Douglas Wilder has proposed reducing state aid to localities, including $173 million in aid to schools, to help offset a projected $1.4 billion state deficit over the next two fiscal years.

Under Wilder's proposed cuts for next fiscal year, state aid to Manassas might be reduced by 5.5 percent to 7.5 percent, Upperman said. That would result in a loss of $300,000 to $400,000, he said, explaining "that would be a very serious blow to us."

Anticipating a 5 percent reduction in state aid for this fiscal year, the School Board this summer mandated 5 percent cuts in spending in most departments and a hiring freeze for about 28 vacant administrative and teaching positions. The savings were used to establish the $1.2 million reserve fund.