Our region’s largest school division has an operating budget for the next academic year. The Albemarle School Board completed a sometimes bruising process Thursday night by approving a more than $160 million spending plan. The budget is several million dollars smaller than the proposal Superintendent Pam Moran unveiled in mid-January. The pay increases for teachers and classified staff will be 1%. Moran wanted a 2% pay raise effective this summer. Eric Strucko and Jason Buyaki were the dissenters in the board’s 5-2 vote. Strucko is unhappy about having to increase class sizes starting next fall. At least eight teaching positions are going to be eliminated because of higher class sizes. Chairman Ned Gallaway (pictured left) and Vice-Chairwoman Barbara Massie Mouly (pictured right) were on the prevailing side for this vote. Regardless of how they voted, the board members say they will strive to find new funding streams during future budget cycles.