On August 27, Governor Terry McAuliffe provided a preview of his priorities for the upcoming Biennium Budget in a speech to the Money Committees of the General Assembly. The Governor made it clear that his top priority is investing in public education.
McAuliffe stated that, “State spending on direct education is just now getting back to funding levels from before the recession. Statewide, we have lost more than 5,000 K-12 positions since 2008. This is true even though enrollment has risen, students’ needs have gotten more challenging and our standards have become more rigorous.”
The Governor stated that he will not backfill previous cuts, but rather seek to provide innovative new investments in K-12 that will demonstrate results. This includes investments in workforce through career and technical training. Click here to view a list of upcoming education roundtables the Governor is convening to receive feedback on this priority.
Education funding was identified as a top priority by VACo members at the recent County Officials Summit and enhancing K-12 workforce readiness initiatives is also an emerging high priority issue for county officials.
The Governor discussed the Commonwealth’s bipartisan work on economic development and transportation funding reforms. He pledged continued emphasis on supporting a retooling of the Virginia economy in light of sequestration and uncertainty at the federal level.
Secretary of Finance Ric Brown gave a comprehensive presentation that gave an overview of General Fund Revenues and the Virginia Economy for Fiscal Year 2015. The Governor will release the introduced budget on December 17.