Last month, the Virginia Association of School Superintendents completed a survey on the effects that funding reductions since 2008 have had on Virginia’s schools. Among Virginia’s 132 school divisions, 112 responded, for a response rate of 85 percent.
Here are some key findings from the survey:
• As a response to budget pressures since 2008, 92 percent of Virginia’s responding school divisions reduced staff. Cumulatively, these cuts resulted in a reduction of 3,785 teachers, 232 school-based administrators, 3,701 school division support staff, and 284 “division-level” administrators.
• 87 percent of responding divisions reported that the staff reductions have resulted in additional duties being assigned to remaining staff.
• 77 percent of responding divisions expressed a belief that teachers left their divisions due to low salaries.
• 71 percent of responding divisions indicated that they increased class sizes since July 1, 2008.
• 51 percent of responding divisions indicated that they eliminated curricular programs in the following areas: fine arts, foreign language, physical education, and career technical education.
• 28 percent of responding school divisions indicated that they have eliminated such co-curricular programs as academic clubs, student clubs and athletics.
• 22 percent of responding school divisions indicated that they have closed schools for financial reasons. Across the state this translates to the closing of 30 elementary schools, 10.5 middle schools, and 2.5 high schools.
VACo Contact: Larry Land, CAE