Monday, January 5, 2015

New JLARC Report Highlights Education Funding Challenges

My constituent from the Hayfield community,
Chris Braunlich, penned an Op-Ed in this weekend's Richmond Times Dispatch that hits the highlights of a recent JLARC report regarding the state of our education funding

Here are the highlights:
  • State education spending per student dropped by 0.4 percent this year.
  • Virginia is spending $100 less per student than we spent in 2005 on an inflation adjusted basis.
  • ESL/Disabled children population is up 15%. 
  • On inflation adjusted basis VA teachers saw a 5% drop in purchasing power of their salaries
  • Fairfax County salaries are 98th nationally
  • State funding formula dates to 1972 when Fairfax poverty rate was 3.5% and largest immigrant group was Germans.
Today's education costs are being driven by factors that are completely unrelated to the factors set forth in the current state funding formula the "local composite index" or LCI, and Virginia is short changing education spending on top of that. 

Clearly, Virginia must do better for its children.