County budget watchers have long noted that K-12 spending in Albemarle has outpaced student growth. Barney Breen-Portnoy tackles the topic in today’s Daily Progress, noting that since 2003 there’s been a 2% enrollment increase and a 31% spending increase. The schools point to ever increasing federal and state educational mandates (“No Child Left Behind” has gradually gone into effect during this period) and a desire to offer salaries that are competitive in the regional job market. (As the cost of living in Albemarle climbs, so too must teacher salaries.) The proposed 2009 budget would be a 2.2% increase over the current year’s budget.