June 29, 2015
Infographic: Statewide Education Funding in Virginia
Funding for Virginia’s schools still has not rebounded from the deep cuts made during the recession, as you can see in our updated statewide education infographic. Next school year, per student state direct aid will be down about 14.5 percent from its peak in the 2008-2009 school year, after adjusting for inflation.
In the wake of the recession, state lawmakers made changes to Virginia’s education funding formula. These changes saved the state money, but did so on the backs of students and local governments. And lawmakers have left many of these changes in place, holding down the state’s overall support for our schools.
These deep cuts from the state mean that localities are covering a larger share of the costs than before. And where local governments can’t offset the cuts from the state, those school divisions have had to cut back, often hurting our students and our teachers.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be releasing a series of infographics showing how these trends have played out in local communities across Virginia. Meanwhile, as the governor prepares his next two-year budget, he should embrace a new vision for Virginia schools that rolls back these cuts to the funding formula, even if it means raising new revenue.
And as candidates for the General Assembly speak with people in their districts they should remember that many schools in their areas are under pressure from reduced state support.
Because it’s time for lawmakers to start putting our students first.
–Mitchell Cole, Policy Analyst