During Tuesday’s finance committee meeting, the supervisors approved an allocation of $1.7 million to Pittsylvania County Schools that will cover the cost of 3,000 Chromebooks, the purchase of 1,000 internet hotspots with data included to be sent home with students, and bipolar ionization air scrubbers for the division’s elementary schools.
This allocation of nearly $1 million for Chromebooks is in addition to the purchase of 3,000 Chromebooks that was approved last month. Vanderhyde said those funds haven’t been spent yet, meaning that the school division still hasn’t purchased the devices. She worries about what happens if the school division isn’t able to find laptops to buy, which would leave nearly $2 million in funds that the county would have to give back to the federal government.
“What happens then?” she said.
Supervisors expressed concerns about the Virginia General Assembly potentially cutting funding during the special session in Richmond that started Tuesday. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam told the General Assembly then that COVID-19 put a projected $2.7 billion hole in the state’s revenue over the next two years.
Because of that uncertainty, supervisors requested Pittsylvania County Schools put on hold any capital projects and renovations where the money hasn’t already been spent.
“We may need to turn those capital dollars into operating dollars,” said Pittsylvania County Administrator David Smitherman.