Since the Fund Our Schools coalition launched in 2019, our coalition has secured a number of wins to increase adequacy and equity in school funding, to fairly compensate educators, to ensure sufficient staffing in all public schools, and to ensure racial and ethnic justice in Virginia public education.
Here are some of the policy wins we have been able to secure:
- After more than a decade of advocacy, this year we won $272 million to partially lift the ‘support cap’, which will increase the number of critical support staff in our schools. This new investment to partially lift the ‘support cap’ represents a major win and recognition of the harm the cut continues to inflict, and we call on lawmakers to continue making progress to fully lift this cap in the years to come.
- In 2022 we won the largest ever investment in the At-Risk Add On ($145 million), which will supplement funding at high-poverty schools. Over the past several legislative sessions, FOS has fought to make increased funding for high-poverty schools a top priority.
- We secured funding to lower the ratio of school counselors to students to 1:325, bringing Virginia closer to the nationally-recommended standard of 1:250.
- After the COVID-19 pandemic caused a statewide public school closure and dramatically decreased public school enrollment for the 2020-21 school year, we secured “no loss” protections that maintained current levels of state funding for schools, rather than penalize schools for pandemic-related drops in enrollment.
- We secured a 5% raise for teachers in both 2021 and 2022.
- We won passage of the School Equity and Staffing Act, which brought about $50 million each year in new state funding to hire school psychologists, school nurses, school social workers, and other specialized student support personnel. These positions are crucial for ensuring that every student has the supports necessary to succeed in school, and they are all the more important as we address education recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Counselor to Student Ratio
Secured funding to lower the ratio of school counselors to students, bringing Virginia closer to the nationally-recommended standard of 1:250.
Raise secured for teachers in 2021
Secured by the passage of the School Equity and Staffing Act to hire school psychologists, nurses, social workers, and other specialized student support personnel.