RICHMOND, Va. -- The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) notified school leaders on Friday that due to an accounting error, they will be getting significantly less money in state aid.
VDOE's error could cost Chesterfield $10 million, Henrico nearly $6 million and Richmond $2.3 million. Because the two-year budgets for the state and the school systems were already negotiated and signed into law, it's not clear how quickly the issue can be resolved.
With the elimination of the state portion of the grocery tax under Governor Youngkin, schools were not supposed to be affected.
However, that funding mechanism was apparently not switched to another source, which means that schools are now having to figure it out with three-fourths of the year over and the next school year looming.
A spokesperson for Youngkin shared the following message with CBS 6:
"The administration is continuing to work with all stakeholders, including our school systems and the legislature, to address the VDOE estimation tool error. The governor is confident that we will address localities' concerns."
For now, schools are on their own. A spokesperson for Henrico County Schools shared the following statement on the matter:
"Fortunately, the superintendent's recommended budget for FY2024 (presented to the school board last week), did not include a precise increase in State Aid. While the overstated amount is significant, division leaders anticipate that HCPS will be able to make adjustments without eliminating programs or opportunities for students."
In Richmond, Superintendent Jason Kamras told board members that RPS expected a $2.3 million shortfall which he said they would go over at the next work session.