Public packs Norfolk School Board meeting to talk budget, support for students with disabilities

NORFOLK, Va. - In the midst of discussing a 2017-2018 budget that recommends dozens in staff reductions, the Norfolk School Board faced a packed room Wednesday.

More than two dozen members of the public signed up to speak during the public comment time.

The majority of speakers focused on Superintendent Melinda Boone's budget recommendations for the 2017-18 school year, which include the elimination of nearly three dozen positions in several departments to make up for declining enrollment.

Norfolk Public Schools says some of the eliminations could be obtained through attrition and retirements however, the board is now considering amendments to restore some of those positions and expects to vote to send the proposed budget to city council next week.

Other speakers at the meeting criticized what they call a lack of education for students with disabilities.

One speaker, Christine DeHaven, told the board Norfolk Public Schools aren't doing enough to educate her 14-year-old son, who has autism and is struggling with math.

Norfolk Public Schools tells News 3 it is taking these concerns very seriously and is committed to the education of all students.

Click here for access to the full budget proposal and meeting agenda.