This morning, Governor McDonnell announced his proposed biennial budget. The proposed budget includes $438 million of new funding for K-12 and would require each school division to report to VDOE the percentage of its operating budget allocated to instruction spending.
Below is an excerpt from the summary of the Governor’s Budget that highlights the proposals for K-12 funding.
K-12 Education Funding
- We cannot expect to grow our economy in the future if we do not educate our children today.
- The proposed budget provides an additional $438 million in total new funding for public education for the next biennium.
- This funding recognizes the rising costs of the Standards of Quality and demonstrates our commitment to make significant investments in the retirement system for teachers.
- The proposed budget identifies more than $1.6 million dollars each year that will be redirected to new programs to be more effective at reaching those children who are most at-risk.
- Beginning with this budget, we are going to get serious about measuring the return on our investment of taxpayer dollars by requiring all school divisions to report the percentage of spending on instruction.
- The proposed budget provides funding to support the transition to new performance-based evaluation models for our public schools.
- Total funding for public education has outpaced enrollment growth significantly using the time period of FY2002-2011 as used by the recent JLARC review. During this time period, the public education direct aid appropriation grew by 41% and unadjusted ADM enrollment grew by 6%, which resulted in funding 6.8 times the rate of enrollment growth.
The budget includes:
- $913,016 in each year of the biennium to pay the testing fees for all 10th grade students enrolled in a public school in Virginia to take the Preliminary SAT exam
- $1,000,000 in each year of the biennium for Communities in Schools
- $308,655 in each year of the biennium to provide support grants to school divisions for standard diploma graduates
o As part of this effort, the Department of Education will be reducing the types of
diplomas offered in Virginia from seven to three – standard, advanced and special
- Reform initiatives for K-12 education that focus on performance by requiring the Department of Education to include in the annual School Performance Report Card for school divisions the percentage of each division’s annual operating budget allocated to instructional costs
- $300,000 in fiscal year 2013 and $400,000 in fiscal year 2014 to establish a comprehensive pilot initiative to recruit students to major in the fields of mathematics and science to help alleviate the shortage of qualified teachers in these fields
- $500,000 in fiscal year 2013 and $100,000 in fiscal year 2014 to fund a pilot initiative to attract, recruit, and retain high-quality diverse individuals to teach science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) subjects in Virginia’s middle and high schools
- $80,000 in fiscal year 2013 to provide one-time planning and implementation grants to support the establishment of Governor’s Health Science Academies
- $67,897 in each year of the biennium to support implementation of a Youth Development Academy pilot program for rising 9th and 10th grade students in a selected region of the Commonwealth
- $325,000 in each year of the biennium for the Virtual Virginia program to support the statewide implementation of the required Economics and Personal Finance course, ensuring that sufficient student slots are available to accommodate statewide demand for the course. This increase is being supported by the transfer of funding from the Mentor Teacher in Hard-to-Staff Schools account, which is being eliminated.
- $385,138 in each year of the biennium to address an increase in GED testing costs. This increase is being supported by the transfer of funding from the Mentor Teacher in Hard-to-Staff Schools account, which is being eliminated.