An Overview of the 2022-2024 Biennial Budget
The 2022-2024 Biennial Budget was adopted by the general assembly on June 1, 2022 after a lengthy period of negotiations between Senate and House budget writers. The following list of budget items contains amendments of interest to K-12 education and is not a complete list of items found in the final conference report. To review the final conference report, click here.
Governor Youngking will have the ability to amend items in the budget with approval by the General Assembly. VSBA will continue to provide updates on the budget process.
Item 1 #2c- This amendment provides funding for member compensation and meeting expenses associated with the establishment of the School Health Services Committee, pursuant to Chapter 707, 2022 Acts of Assembly.
Item 6 #4c- This amendment provides funding to study the Commonwealth's response and preparedness to the COVID-19 pandemic, consistent with Senate Joint Resolution 10 of the 2022 General Assembly.
Item 33 #1c- This amendment directs the Behavioral Health Commission to conduct a study of how to maximize school-based mental health services across the Commonwealth.
Item 36 #4c- This amendment directs JLARC to review the cost of competing adjustment (COCA) in their review of SOQ standards and funding.
Office of Education:
Item 129#1c- This amendment permits the Department of Education to use funds reserved by the agency from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund for the establishment of a system to assess student growth with a focus on learning loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each school division in the Commonwealth shall implement the system and make reports from the system available to educators to allow them to address learning for their students.
Item 129 #2c- This amendment provides $200,000 the first year from the general fund to study options for expanding student access to Academic Year Governor's Schools.
Item 129 #3c- This amendment directs the Department of Education to collaborate with the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth to implement educational requirements related to the harms of marijuana and substance abuse as required by legislation passed in 2021. A companion amendment in Item 482 directs the Foundation to provide or develop the necessary educational resources.
Item 129 #6c- This amendment provides $4.8 million the first year and $4.6 million the second year from the general fund to support implementation of the Virginia Literacy Act, and to prepare for the implementation of science-based literacy instruction beginning in fiscal year 2025. In addition, this amendment directs the University of Virginia's Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning to create a technical support center to support implementation of the bill and directs the Board of Education to initiate its textbook review process to assist school divisions to obtain materials required by the act.
Item 129 #7c- This amendment provides $650,000 the first year and $875,000 the second year from the general fund to support development of a pilot school readiness assessment for grades 1-3. The existing Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Assessment is currently designed only to be administered to preschoolers and kindergartners.
Item 130 #1c- This amendment provides $170,520 from the general fund the first year and $48,760 from the general fund the second year to support language development resources for families and educators working with children who are deaf or hard of hearing, as required by Chapters 238 and 240, 2022 Acts of Assembly.
Item 130 #2c- This amendment provides $100,000 each year from the general fund to increase support for statewide training programs for school division staff to implement regulations related to the use of restraint and seclusion of students in public schools. This would increase total support for such training to $592,755 annually.
Item 130 #3c- This amendment removes $221,514 each year from the general fund and one position that was proposed in the introduced budget to support social emotional learning efforts.
Item 135 #1c- This amendment provides $132,932 from the general fund each year for the Department of Education to collect data from school divisions on the maintenance reserve needs of every public school building in each local school division, as required by Chapter 650, 2022 Acts of Assembly.
Item 135 #2c- This amendment clarifies that the "Accreditation Waived" status provided to schools in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years do not apply toward the three years of "Accredited" status required for a school to become eligible for triennial accreditation.
Item 135 #3c- This amendment provides $130,000 each year from the general fund and one FTE at the Department of Education to assist with administering school construction grant guidelines, funding, and reporting.
Item 136 #23c- This amendment defers $1.1 million each year from the general fund that was proposed in the introduced budget to implement a new grow-your-own licensed early childhood educator program.
Item 137 #2c- This amendment provides $400.0 million from the general fund for the School Construction Grant Program. Language allows local school divisions to use the School Construction Grants Program funds, as introduced, for debt service payments on school projects that have been completed or initiated during the last ten years and clarifies that funds shall not be used for repair or replacement of parking lot or for facilities that are predominantly used for extracurricular athletic activities. Additionally, language clarifies that any unexpended funds shall be carried on the books of the locality in local escrow accounts pursuant to § 22.1-175.5.
Item 137 #3c- This amendment provides clarification that the calculation of required local effort for Infrastructure and Operations Funds shall include local funds used for nonrecurring expenses; clarifies that these funds may be used to pay for debt service on projects that have been initiated but not yet completed; and requires unexpended funds to be deposited into a local capital school projects escrow fund.
Item 137 #4c- This amendment maintains the current English learner (EL) teacher ratio of 20 such teachers per 1,000 identified EL students. The introduced budget proposed increasing the staffing standard to 22 EL teachers per 1,000 EL students, for an additional $10.3 million the first year and $11.7 million the second year from the general fund.
Item 137 #5c- This amendment provides $10.0 million the first year from the general fund and $10.2 million the second year from the general fund for the state share of one full-time school principal position for each elementary school. Current law provides that elementary schools with fewer than 300 students are provided a half-time principal position.
Item 137 #6c- This amendment eliminates the Reading Recovery intervention program as a permissible use of At-Risk Add-On Funds to align with Chapter 61, 2022 Acts of Assembly.
Item 137 #9c- This amendment captures $123.2 million in general fund savings the first year by increasing the At-Risk Add-On maximum add-on percentages from 26.0% to 36.0% beginning in fiscal year 2023. The introduced budget proposed establishing the maximum add-on at 49.5% in fiscal year 2023 and 36.0% in fiscal year 2024.
Item 137 #10c- This amendment provides $109.4 million from the general fund the first year and $162.3 million from the general fund the second year to increase the number of funded support positions. Since fiscal year 2010, funded support positions have been calculated as a linear weighted average of support positions to funded SOQ instructional positions as reported by divisions. This would increase the funded ratio from 17.75 support positions per 1,000 students to funded SOQ instructional positions to 20 support positions per 1,000 ADM to funded SOQ instructional positions in the first year, and 21 support positions per 1,000 ADM to funded SOQ instructional positions in the second year. This increases state support for support positions and partially removes the funding cap placed on support positions beginning in fiscal year 2010.
Item 137 #12c- This amendment provides $104.1 million from the general fund the first year and $257.2 million from the general fund the second for the equivalent distribution of the 1% sales tax revenue from food and essential personal hygiene products. These payments are distributed to localities based on the estimate of school age population consistent with sales tax. The funding for this amendment is fully contained within the introduced budget since the introduced budget contained a hold harmless payment for the loss in dedicated K-12 sales tax from exempting food after the Basic Aid offset and contained the entire distribution of sales tax from essential personal hygiene products. The reductions reflected in this amendment are related to rounding variances when distributing these payments based on school age population and then calculating the Basic Aid state and local shares of cost based on the local composite index.
Item 137 #13c- This amendment provides that the 5% salary increase in the first year is effective on August 1, 2022 and reduces the compensation supplement funding to reflect this action. It additionally clarifies that local school divisions must use revenues derived from local sources to match the state share of funding for the compensation supplement.
Item 137 #15c- This amendment provides $400.0 million the first year from the general fund and $50.0 million the first year from the Literary Fund to establish the School Construction Assistance Program, to provide competitive grants for school construction and modernization, based on demonstrated poor building conditions, commitment, and need. Grants would cover 10% to 30% of reasonable project costs, depending on a locality’s local composite index and fiscal stress score.
Item 137 #20c- This amendment deposits $100.0 million the first year into the College Partnership Laboratory Schools (CPLS) Fund and authorizes the Board of Education to award $5.0 million for planning grants to CPLS applicants, $20.0 million for startup grants to approved CPLS, and to distribute per pupil funds to approved CPLS. This amendment further requires the Board of Education to establish CPLS Fund guidelines before the release of funds and reverts any unobligated funds at the end of the 2022-24 biennium to the general fund.
Item 137 #25c- This amendment provides $30.8 million the first year and $31.6 million the second year from the general fund to provide one reading specialist for every 550 students in kindergarten through third grade, and provides flexibility for school divisions to employ other instructional staff working toward obtaining the training and licensure requirements prescribed in House Bill 319 that will become effective in the 2024-2025 school year. This amendment also eliminates $31.5 million the first year and $31.6 million the second year that was included in the introduced budget to expand Early Reading Intervention from kindergarten through third grade to kindergarten through fifth grade. This amendment is net of both actions.
Item 4-14 #7c- This amendment provides an exemption on the 1.5% state sales tax imposed on food purchased for human consumption or essential personal hygiene products effective January 1, 2023. Additionally, it provides that the amount of the 1% dedicated to public education be replaced with a like amount of general fund distributed based on school-age population, consistent with the distribution of sales tax.