• 66°

Budgeting time to listen

One of the most important roles of a county board of supervisors is funding its public school system — keeping it operational on an annual basis.

Whether appointed or elected, school boards have very important tasks to undertake and hard decisions to make on a monthly basis regarding instruction, student discipline, personnel and supervision of schools.

It’s important to note that while the local school boards supervise the operation of the schools — which directly mold our future, which is paramount to the success of all of us — local boards of supervisors have the task of deciding how many local tax dollars are allocated toward these operations on an annual basis.

Across the Heart of Virginia, new supervisors and school board members are, for the first time, about to experience something that tenured county staff and I have worked through for some time now, and that’s budget season.

One thing that’s of utmost importance, to both supervisors and school board members, is that when you sit down with one another and see the respective budget presentations of each body, come to the table without preconceived political or personal notions or agendas of what needs to happen.

Listening and seeking to understand and asking questions and hearing one another out is vital to this process.

Members of the board of supervisors should take seriously what school board members say when they cite the need for additional funds for more instructional offerings and programs, and vice versa.

Coming to these meetings with an open mind and a mission to learn will not only help members of both boards be successful, but it will also lead to a mutual respect for each other — a must for the continued success of youth in the Heart of Virginia.

JORDAN MILES is managing editor of The Farmville Herald. His email address is jordan.miles@farmvilleherald.com.