Welcome to our Resources page, where you can find information to support your advocacy for increased school funding and resource equity. As Fund Our Schools continues to fight, we will update our resources, so check in with us often!
With students and schools still recovering from the setbacks of the pandemic, we can’t afford to shift investments to voucher and tax credit programs that redirect public K-12 funding and have track records of hurting student outcomes. Research is clear that investing in public schools improves student outcomes, graduation and postsecondary enrollment. Lawmakers should look to invest in evidence-based initiatives that our Board of Education and student-advocacy groups in the state have promoted for years, like funding the revised Standards of Quality and lifting the support cap.
In 2009, lawmakers added language to the budget creating a “cap” on support staff funding — cutting hundreds of millions in state funding for support staff. Between 2009 and 2019, support staff in Virginia schools has declined by 2,800 positions while student enrollment increased by more than 57,000 students. The Virginia Board of Education has repeatedly recommended lifting this arbitrary and damaging cap; doing so over the upcoming budget would cost $778 million.
The Virginia Board of Education recently sent their recommendations to lawmakers for updating our Standards of Quality — the minimum funding standards to provide K-12 students an adequate education. These updates include nearly $813 million in new state spending for essential positions like school counselors, social workers, instructors of English learners, reading specialists, funding for high-poverty divisions, and much more. It’s now up to lawmakers to fund these recommendations, which they failed to do for far too long.
The new COVID-19 relief package, the American Rescue Plan (ARP), contains the largest single investment in K-12 education ever by the federal government, on top of what prior relief packages provid- ed. Most of this money is going directly to local divisions. This means that local school boards will be deciding how to use these funds to benefit their schools.
Virginia’s dilapidated and outdated school infrastructure hampers student achievement and health, teacher retention, school overhead costs, and local property values. Since at least the 1980s, Virginia supported schools directly with tens of millions of dollars in state aid for school construction grants and subsidized financing.
A video recording of a webinar talking about the best ways to advocate for school funding in the 2021 legislative session and how to fight for federal funds to be used for schools.