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Stewartsville Elementary is staying open after state funding to Bedford County Public Schools decreased dramatically due to an increase in county GDP. With a major increase in wealth moving into Bedford County, specifically the Smith Mountain Lake area, state funding was greatly reduced. Waiting to see what money they can salvage from the state to reduce the deficit, the local tax will be dependent on any further decisions. “Right now, we need to wait and see what dollars come to us from the governor so we can address … (whether) we need to reduce or … add,” School Board Chair Marcus Hill said. The community was adamant about keeping the school open but was concerned about what options were to make that happen. One of the proposed plans is for the elementary to move fifth grade to middle school, then bumping eighth grade to high school, a move that did not go over well with parents and teachers. According to Lynchburg News and Advance, the purpose of these proposed plans was in preparation for the “reversion cliff” that will cause the school to lose at least $8 million in the 2028-29 school year. Though pushed off for now, some decisions will have to be made in the best interest of the school district and community.


Controversy surrounding the moving of the Washington Capitals and Wizards sports franchises has been settled for the time being. According to The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., Attorney General Brian Schwalb stated on March 18 that the lease with the Capitals and Wizards will be kept until its end in 2047. Ted Leonsis, owner of the Wizards and Capitals as well as his company, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, has been pushing for the move of his franchises out of the district to Northern Virginia. Mayor Muriel Bowser of the district found that the Wizards and Capitals are both legally bound to stay at Capital One Arena; if either leave, then it could lead to massive legal issues. According to WUSA, Leonsis made a handshake deal in December with Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin to propose legislation to build a new arena in Alexandria despite a $500 million offer from Bowser to upgrade Capital One Arena. As the two sides continue to push, Youngkin will have the choice to revive the bill for state funding in the General Assembly April 17.


President Joe Biden signed into law a $1.2 trillion budget bill Saturday, March 3, to fund the U.S. government through a fiscal year to avoid a partial shutdown. According to The Guardian, the bill passed in the Senate with an overwhelming 74-24 victory, effective for the next six months. The House voted 286-134 to pass the bill. “The bipartisan funding bill I just signed keeps the government open, invests in the American people and strengthens our economy and national security,” Biden said. The funding will go towards the departments of state, defense, homeland and others through September. According to KRQE, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the Office of National Drug Control Policy will all see cuts in this package. With Biden recently signing a $460 billion package on March 9, this is already one of the highest spending months this fiscal year.

Bessire is the special assignments reporter for the Liberty Champion. Follow him on X

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