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Pre-School gets reprieve

Posted on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 10:03 am

Supervisors last week decided to grant some relief to a local public school struggling with double their usual bills after an intrinsic program was cut from the county.

On July 11, during their regular monthly meeting, officials in Richmond County decided to cut the rent of the Virginia Pre-School Initiative, located  on Walnut Street, in half from $1500 to $750 per-moth.

The move comes after the Head Start program, which originally shared the building and split all costs, was cut from the county due to federal budget cuts related to sequestration.

The reprieve however, is not permanent.

Supervisors, upon learning from that no lease currently exists between the county and the school decided to take another look at the situation once County Administrator Morgan Quicke

and the schools can come up with an amenable tenancy agreement.

Quicke said that he expected that such an agreement could be reached by October.

Although hesitant about providing financial relief to the facility in previous meetings, Dist. 3 Supervisor John Haynes initially proposed charging the school no rent for the next three months until a compromise could be worked out.

“I think I understand better now,” Haynes said referring to how the public school and a paid pre-school share the same property.

Dist. 2 Supervisor Jean Harper, however, disagreed, asking if the classes could be made larger to reduce staffing.

After School Director April Walker explained that state regulations would preclude that option, she added that the school was looking at cutting part-time staff hours when assistants are unnecessary, such as during nap hours in the afternoon.

The board passed the measure to reduce the rent by half with only Dist. 4 Supervisor Courtney Sisson dissenting, saying that she believed the public school should not pay for its facilities.

“I am still in favor of relieving them of all their rent,” Sisson said.