A total of $7.7 million now is earmarked for the school division, according to the amendment. That total includes $5.1 million to the school division, and the $2.6 million needed for the debt service. The county will retain the funds for the debt service and make associated payments.

Supervisors initially approved a total of $7.1 million in local funding for the school division in the upcoming fiscal year that will start July 1. However, that amount did not meet the minimum threshold required by law, and the school division braced for cuts to personnel and programs.

“I tried to get you all not to pass the budget,” Crystal Harris, of the Smith River District, said. “I have an issue with do-overs, and that’s what we’re doing tonight.”

Noting that the county must meet the required local match, Lock Boyce, chairman and of the Mayo River District, said the vote Monday represented a reduction in the local contribution to the school division.

Boyce said it was a decrease from the $7.1 million initially approved to the 5.1 million approved Monday.

“Actually, we’re not taking anything away. We’re increasing” the amount of local funding to the…

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