This is a part of TCI’s “Collective Agenda for Virginia’s Future.” Click here to start at the beginning.
We dream of a Virginia with
Great Public Schools for Every Student
Every child, regardless of race, ability, or zip code, needs a public school with full and fair funding, well-supported teachers, and nurses, counselors, and other supports that ensure they can thrive. By joining together across race and place, we can rewrite the rules to ensure every school has the resources to set kids up to be all that they dream.
Together, we can…
Fully, Fairly Fund Our Schools
Children and families deserve to live in a commonwealth where every community has high-quality public schools where children can thrive.
Falling test scores in Virginia compared to other states has followed falling state funding compared to other states. Virginia has the capacity to do well – we’re a top 12 state in terms of median household income – but we’re 36th in the country in state per-student funding. In some places, the local government can and does make up for the state’s failings, but in many lower-income communities, local governments don’t have the capacity to do so, leaving children without access to the education they need to reach their full potential.
The state isn’t doing its part to make sure every student in every zipcode has access to a great education: Virginia recently received “D” grades from the national Education Law Center in K-12 adequacy and equity, and an “F” grade in K-12 funding effort. And to make matters worse, some powerful politicians are trying to divide us and root against our schools to justify diverting public money to private school vouchers for the wealthy.
What Can We Do?
We know what it takes to make sure every student has access to a high-quality education. Decades of high-quality research shows that money matters for student outcomes, and the state’s own research agency, JLARC, has provided recommendations for how to get to what our students need. By working together we can make sure elected officials put our shared resources toward creating great public schools in every community.
Advance Commonsense Policies
- Deliver more mental and behavioral health specialists at the schools to address the mental health crisis facing our students.
- Provide more help for students and teachers by fully lifting the arbitrary cap on state funding for support staff.
- Address recruitment and retention challenges by making teacher pay competitive with other states and other professions.
- Provide targeted help for students who face the highest barriers, including English language learners, students with disabilities, and students in low-income communities.
- Improve school climates through mentorship programs, wrap-around services, credible messengers, and other effective supports for students and educators.
- Reject diversions of public funds to exclusionary, unaccountable private schools.
Learn More & Engage
Join the movement to strengthen Virginia’s public schools. Learn more through the Fund Our Schools coalition. Consider joining one of the grassroots organizations that form the coalition’s base. Or consider whether an organization you’re already connected with would be interested in joining the coalition!