Public pleads on schools’ behalf

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 7, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

&uot;Don’t cut funding to Suffolk Public Schools.&uot;

That’s the message that several residents sent to the Suffolk City Council during Wednesday’s public hearing on the city’s proposed $250.2 million 2004 operating budget.

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Initially, the School Board requested $2.6 million, approximately $290,000 more that the city budgeted for schools. Before the hearing, School Superintendent Dr. Milton Liverman asked council to restore approximately half – $115,000 – of the money to the schools.

Charles Christian, a Walnut Street resident, urged council to support the

&uot;I’m disappointed we can’t fully fund the school board’s budget request,&uot; Christan said. &uot;I don’t believe our superintendent and finance director put fat in the budget.

&uot;…I think we need to think in terms of what the School Board requested and go back to the drawing board.&uot;

Peter Timm, a Harbourview resident and nuclear engineer at the Norfolk naval Shipyard, agreed,

&uot;I don’t mind paying the fees,&uot; said Timm. &uot;I think it is very important to fully fund the school’s budget request.&uot;

Timm said that of the 500 people who work in his department, only 10 are from Suffolk.

&uot;Those who move out here pay extra to send their children to private schools,&uot; Timm said. &uot;If you want to bring high tech businesses to the area, you need to have high-tech schools.&uot;

The budget is slated to be adopted on May 21.