Board of Education News Graphic with ABSS Logo Photo of gavel in background

ABSS leaders presented an update Monday evening on the 2023-24 budget outlook and explored a forecast for the coming year.  With the District facing a projected $3.2 million dollar shortfall this school year and the end of federal COVID dollars being exhausted in September, the Board heard from dozens of community members regarding their financial priorities going forward.  

In November, the independent auditor warned of a dangerously low fund balance and that the District had been using a portion of it for several years to balance its budget. A hiring freeze was immediately announced, except for classroom teachers, bus drivers, and cafeteria staff.  

To further address the shortfall, ABSS leaders have reviewed pre-covid allotments, state allotments, and cost-cutting measures to sustain operations through June 30th. 

The ABSS budget consists of federal funds in the form of grants, state funding mainly for staff, and funding from County Commissioners.  

In addition to teacher allotments, ABSS has explored other state funding including funds allotted for assistant principals and support staff.  For example, Eastern High School has 1,100 students - the state provides funding for one principal and one assistant principal. The other two are paid using local funds.  ABSS receives funding for 54.5 counselors, nurses and social workers from the state but currently has 69.5 positions funded locally.  Additionally the District has used a combination of local funds and COVID dollars to fund the Alamance Virtual School since its inception. 

“In order to keep these positions and programs intact, we will have to look at other funding sources as our COVID dollars end in September and look at how our local dollars are being spent,” said Revonda Johnson, Chief Academic Officer.  

As this budget year comes to a close and as planning begins for next year, ABSS will continue its hiring freeze, expenditure deadlines, and limit non-federal travel.  Additionally, there will be no reduction in force or changes to the Dual Language Program.  

Board members agreed to explore all avenues going forward.  

Budget timeline:  

March 12, 2024 Board Work Session for Discussion

March  25, 2024 Board of Education Approves Funding Request

March   26, 2024 BOE Submits Funding Request to County Manager

May 20,  2024 County Manager Presents Budget Recommendation 

June   3, 2024 Board of Commissioners Public Hearing

June   17, 2024 Board of Commissioners Adopt Budget


The Board voted on a plan to rezone approximately 100 students next school year to address overcrowding at Woodlawn Middle School. The school, which was built for 650 students, currently has an enrollment of 750. Recent rapid growth in the area from new industries like Amazon, Honda, and biotech industries has led to capacity challenges for the District. Woodlawn is currently at 115% capacity, the largest in the district. “We have capacity issues across the District. It’s time for us to look at building schools,” said Seneca Rogers, Board Member.  The plan would reduce Woodlawn's population to approximately 624 students for the 2024-2025 academic year.  Within 10 days of being notified students would have the opportunity to request a transfer and remain at the school under Board policy.  The Board plans to explore the possibility of amending its policy regarding athletics for students who are part of a transfer.  Overall, the district has 11 schools at capacity and 8 nearing capacity.  

Pay Go Funding Request

Chief Operations Officer Greg Hook presented a preliminary plan of repairs and upgrades that will be needed at the District's schools in the coming year.  One of the biggest ticket items is upgrades to the fire alarm system at Garrett/Hawfields, Haw River Elementary, BEJ, and Woodlawn.  Also urgent repairs to the Cummings High School bleachers due to rust and repairs and aging playground equipment at various schools.  Hook plans to submit the $4 million dollar Pay-Go plan as part of the District’s overall request to the County Commissioners for the 2024-25 school year.  

Pay Go Funding Plan

Pay Go Funding Plan for 2025

Rusted bleachers photo at Cummings High School

Rusted bleacher pole at Cummings High

Boarded up playground at South Graham Elementary

Start Student/Staff Member Honored

Western Middle School student Moses Salinas was honored as the Districts Start Student of the Month.  Salinas’ principal said, “Moses is a hard worker and is so kind to his peers. He always displays the Western way!”.  Each month administrators at all the District’s schools nominate one student based on rubrics that look for qualities like adaptability, balance, self-reliance, and being solution-oriented.  Staff members are selected based on their character and commitment to the District’s mission and vision.  Both receive a trophy that was donated by B&H Trophy of Burlington. 

Western Middle School student Moses Salinas smiling largely standing with his mother and father, holding a trophy, during recognition at a Board of Education meeting

 This month’s Star Staff member was Public Safety Teacher Madison Pierce from Graham High School.  Pierce’s Principal said, “she does an outstanding job modeling and showing students a variety of career paths that are available for students after high school.  We appreciate her willingness to market the program and also put her EMT skills to use, whenever the need arrives.” 

Graham High School CTE teacher Madison Pierce holding a trophy and certificate and standing with husband and two children, along with principal Joshua Brown and assistant principal Joseph Lamanna