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Union County commissioners reject school board funding request

Union County commissioners unanimously rejected a request from the school board for nearly $2 million in funding for certain capital needs and driver’s education.
Union County commissioners unanimously rejected a request from the school board for nearly $2 million in funding for certain capital needs and driver’s education. abell@charlotteobserver.com

Union County commissioners have unanimously rejected a nearly $2 million request from the school board for air conditioning repairs, vehicle replacement, driver’s education and other needs.

It’s the latest turn in a long-running funding drama between the two boards.

The school board sued the county two years ago in another budget dispute, but saw the $91 million judgment it won overturned on appeal.

In early July, the school board said it was not going to fight the county this year despite getting about $15.5 million less than it had sought in its request for funding in the 2015-16 budget. Instead, the school board decided to ask commissioners for $1.2 million for “emerging needs” funding for such capital maintenance projects as fixing the air conditioning at Weddington High.

The school board also sought $752,860 for driver’s education, and said they would return that money if the state eventually provides those funds.

But county commissioners turned down the request this week. They agreed with county staff that the school board can prioritize its needs and use existing funds to deal with items in their request.

School board chairman John Collins could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Adam Bell: 704-358-5696, @abell

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