Sunday, February 16, 2014

First Look at House and Senate Education Budgets

The VCU Commonwealth Education Poll 2013-2014 was presented to the education committees of the House and Senate last week.  The findings were not surprising:

In yet another year of concerns over budget balancing, Virginians remain strongly supportive of funding for public schools.  Sixty-five percent of Virginians say that Virginia schools do not have enough funds to meet their needs, while only 27% say schools have enough funding now.  Respondents are also concerned about how funding affects quality.  Three‐quarters of respondents (75%) said that the amount of funding affects quality a great deal or quite a lot, which is an increase of 8% over last year.

Further, funding for our public schools is the public’s top budget priority according to the poll.

Let’s see how the House and Senate budget proposals, released today, stack up in consideration of the priorities of Virginians as revealed in the Commonwealth Poll.

House Highlights

No incentive funds for teacher salary increase

Provides funds for the transition to fully funding teacher retirement

$150,000 for OEI

FY15 per pupil funding level = $5037 (FY09 level was $5274)

Senate Highlights

No incentive funds for teacher salary increase, but suggests that $40 million in formula changes be used for salary

Provides funds for the transition to fully funding teacher retirement

No funding for OEI

FY15 per pupil funding level = $5063 (FY09 level was $5274)

In summary, the Senate provides $26 more per pupil next years that the House, but we remain behind 2009 funding levels.  There is no cause for celebration for public education advocates.

Quote of the Day:

“Virginian’s should be very proud of its public education system that supports and produces high caliber students and that consistently outperforms the majority of peer-group students, from other states, and on a number of nationally recognized achievement tests.  And does so at a very competitive cost to taxpayers:  Virginia ranks 49th lowest, out of the 50 states, on Stand and Local Revenues (taxes) as a Percentage of Average Virginian’s Personal Income!” 

-  Delegate James P. Massie, III, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Elementary and Secondary Education
Please look for a detailed analysis of the proposals in the days ahead.


Virginia parent said...

That same poll shows that a significant majority of Virginians -- 72% -- favor allowing homeschooled students to participate on local public school sports teams. Does VEA support the wishes of Virginia citizens on this issue related to public schools?

Unknown said...

Maybe it is time for teachers across the Commonwealth to work to the contract. What other profession do the professionals get treated with such disdain? How many days, weeks, or months of working to the contract, would it take to open the eyes of the complacent constituents?