K-12 Education Funding - 2011 Legislative Program

1. It is essential that the state fully meet its Constitutional responsibility to adequately fund K-12 education.

Critical gaps continue to widen between Virginia's Standards of Quality (SOQ), the funding for those standards, and the actual local costs of providing a high quality education. Fairfax County and other Northern Virginia localities more than meet their responsibilities for K-12 education through large contributions to the State General Fund, strong local effort, and the effect of high local composite indices, which diverts State funding away from this region.

Fairfax County and Northern Virginia localities oppose state budget cuts that disproportionately target or affect Northern Virginia, and support realistic and fully-funded Standards of Quality. Fairfax County and Northern Virginia also strongly oppose formula changes which further weaken the partnership between the state and localities, including but not limited to, any reduction in the current 55 percent State share of SOQ costs, capping state funding for support costs and the elimination or reduction of cost of competing funding to Northern Virginia localities. Unfortunately, the 2010-2012 budget adopted by the 2010 General Assembly exacerbates the stresses on the state-local K-12 partnership, by making the permanent, structural cuts that localities expressly sought to avoid. By relying on one-time, temporary actions to at least partially offset these cuts (e.g. reduced VRS rates, federal stimulus funds), the current budget understates the eventual impact of these structural changes. But even with these one-time actions, state funding to school divisions in FY2011 is reduced by about $773 million as compared to the original budget for FY10 (adopted by the 2009 session). (Revises and updates previous education position.)


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