Friday, January 21, 2011

Hope for a Better Budget for Education

Following the development of Virginia’s budget is even more difficult than following the process for bills. Many of the decisions are made in behind-the-scenes meetings that are technically open to the public, but the unspoken word is that you attend to the detriment of your cause.

Yesterday, member’s budget amendments were posted, and these amendments provide an insight regarding their respective priorities. Look, for example, at the amendments proposed by Delegates O’Bannon and Cox. You can view the Delegates and Senator’s amendments at the following sites:

House -

Senate -

Thanks to Delegate Tata and Senator Houck, we are still in the battle to win a pay increase for school employees. Although Tata’s budget amendment is entitled with the word “teacher,” it includes all SOQ positions. Houck’s K-12 funding amendment is a “place holder” for funds to provide the option of improving pay or saving jobs.

We are fortunate, too, that a number of members from both parties are fighting to restore the Hold Harmless funds that were slashed by the Governor ($57,599,781).

House Amendments
Bacote - 132 6h Restore Composite Index in FY2012 $57,599,781
Carr - 132 5h Restore Composite Index in FY2012 $57,599,781
Tata - 132 1h Teacher 3% Salary Adjustment $99,355,544
- 132 2h Restore Composite Index in FY2012 $57,599,781

Senate Amendments

Barker - 1 3s Jt. Sub. To Study Virtual School Funding
- 30 1s JLARC Study of VRS
- 132 4s Freeze Virtual School Enrollment
Houck - 132 7s K-12 Funding YR1 $83,159,970 YR2 $87,698,039
Marsh - 132 2s Restore FY12 LCI Hold Harmless $57,599,781
Quayle - 132 1s Restore FY12 LCI Hold Harmless $57,599,781
Reynolds - 132 3s Restore FY12 LCI Hold Harmless $57,599,781

Our job now is to support these amendments to make the reports that come out of the House Appropriations Committee and Senate Finance Committee more generous to public education than what the Governor proposed on December 17th.