The State is Failing to Fund K-12 Education
When the recession hit in 2009, the state capped funding for student support positions, effectively reducing state funding by an estimated $378 million per year. Since 2009, state funding for K-12 education in Virginia is down 9%, while overall student population has grown by 5%. In Richmond, that reduction is even more profound where state funding is down 19% while its student population has grown by 9%. This is not just an urban locality issue, as rural school districts and a growing number of suburban school districts are facing similar state funding cuts.
Although required to fund 45% of K-12 education, localities are now funding 57% of the spending on K-12 education.
As the state does less, localities are left doing more for education. Although required to fund 45% of K-12 education, localities are now funding 57% of the spending on K-12 education. Localities are spending $4 billion more than the local requirement, and still there are many unmet educational needs.
Nowhere is this clearer than in providing enough funds to educate low-income students. Virginia ranks among the lowest in the country when it comes to appropriating funding for low-income students, allocating only 1% to 14% in extra funding for educating student from low-income families, while other states average 24% in extra funding and some as much as 200% extra.