ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Albemarle County looking to make some big investments into the school system in 2025, primarily focusing on the educators themselves. 

“When I look at the budget it is not just about numbers. I see individual people that make our schools and departments thrive,” said Matthew Haas, superintendent of Albemarle County Public Schools. 

70.9% of the proposed budget from ACPS is prioritizing instruction, including teacher pay. Haas says the goal is to increase pay by 3% to offer wages in the 60th percentile in a market that includes competing school systems such as Prince William County and Henrico County.

“That is what this whole process is really about, funding people so that they can work directly with our students and families,” Haas said. 

Also, within that 70.9% is funding for 27 new social emotional support coaches for students who are in need of mental health services. 

“The fact is that when you can bring those stress levels down for students, you're cutting into that suicide ideation and students are getting back to make them happy,” Haas said. 

Haas plans to dedicate funds to improving overall mental health services and security measures, including cameras in the schools. 

As of right now, the proposed expenditures including wage increase, technology, transportation, and building services are expected to be roughly $273 million while the anticipated revenues and funding on the local, state and federal level are only around 260 million, leaving a gap of 13 million dollars.  

Haas hopes this gap can be minimized.  

“We have ways to address a gap like this, I don't want to get ahead of the process because really as we move forward, we are going to continue to collaborate with the school board on what the priorities are,” Haas said. 

They plan to balance the budget and have the revenues finalized by May of this year.