Additional state funding for public education is VACo’s over-arching legislative priority for 2016. Governor Terry McAuliffe announced on December 17 that additional funding for public education was a top priority that has been outlined in his FY 2016-2018 Biennial Budget.
For direct aid support for Virginia’s public schools (grades K through 12), the Governor proposes an expenditure that amounts to approximately $5,446 per student, a $550 increase over the amount appropriated for FY 2016 ($4,896). The Governor’s budget also proposes to cover the full costs associated with the state Board of Education’s recommendations for re-benchmarking the Standards of Quality.
Direct aid to school divisions
-$5.8 billion in the first year and $5.97 billion the second year of the biennium in general funds for basic aid to fully fund the Standards of Quality (SOQ). (The amount appropriated for SOQ for FY 2016 was $5.5 billion.)
-$69.4 million in the first year and $214 million the second year in general funds for financial incentive programs, which include such activities as special education, school breakfasts, math and reading instruction specialists, the Governor’s schools and compensation supplements. (The amount appropriated under this category for FY 2016 was $74.8 million.)
-$58.5 million in the first year and $59.2 million the second year in general funds for financial assistance for categorical programs, which include special education operational programs, adult education, school lunch program, virtual Virginia, adult literacy, others. (The amount appropriated under this category for FY 2016 was $56.9 million.)
-$541.2 million in both years of the biennium for distribution of lottery proceeds to pay for such activities as providing Virginia Pre-School Initiative (VPI), Kindergarten through third grade class size reduction, Standards of Learning (SOL) algebra readiness programs, early intervention reading programs, “Project Graduation” and others. (The amount appropriated for lottery proceeds was $531.7 million.)
Total Direct Aid proposed for Public Education
FY 2017 FY 2018
$7.4 billion $7.7 billion
(For the next biennium the proposed total of $15.1 billion for total Direct Aid for Public Education in FY 2017 and FY 2018 represents a 5 percent increase over total appropriations of $14.3 billion for the current biennium.)
The following are additional details on the Governor’s proposed budget
School staffing levels and compensation
-$83.3 million from the general fund for the second year of the biennium as an incentive to support the state share of the payment for a 2 percent salary increase, effective July 10, 2017, for funded SOQ instructional and support positions, including teachers, guidance counselors, librarians, instructional aides, principals and assistant principals. Should the funds be accepted by the localities for teacher pay increases, the local school division is required to meet the state match with local funds in accordance with the Local Composite Index (LCI). Language in the budget states that this funding “is not intended as a mandate to increase salaries.
-$42.6 million in the first year and $96.4 million the second year as incentive funding to support the state’s share in hiring approximately 2,500 additional instructional personnel as defined under the SOQ. The hiring of additional personnel is not intended to be a mandate upon local school divisions.
-The Governor’s proposed budget includes new language that provides SOQ funding to increase salaries for support positions (in addition to instructional positions) in recognition of the common labor market in the Washington, D.C.-Baltimore-Northern Virginia combined statistical area where “the equivalent portion of the Cost of Competing Adjustment (COCA) rates” would take effect for the counties of Stafford, Fauquier, Spotsylvania, Clarke, Warren, Frederick and Culpeper along with localities in Planning District 8.
Funding for other programs
-$258.8 million the first year and $267.8 million the second year from the ¼ cent sales and use tax to support the state share in paying for the following SOQ revisions:
5 elementary resource teachers for every 1,000 students.
1 support and 1 instructional technology position for every 1,000 students.
1 full daily planning period for middle and high school teachers.
-$129 million in the first year and $131 million the second year from lottery proceeds as an incentive for reducing class sizes in grades K-3. Schools with higher percentages of children eligible for participating in the free lunch program would be highest priority in receiving funds.
-$2 million in the first year and $8 million in the second year, in addition to $121 million in the first year from lottery proceeds and $116 million in the second year in lottery proceeds to be distributed to school divisions based upon the estimated number of federal free lunch participants to support students categorized as educationally at-risk.
-$110 million the first year and $110.2 million the second year from the general fund will be included in SOQ basic aid payments for vocational education programs.
-$76.6 million in the first year and $76.8 million the second year in general funds for the state’s share in the cost of textbooks based on a per pupil amount of $109.78 for both years of the biennium.
-$69.2 million in the first year and $69.4 million the second year from lottery proceeds to schools and community-based organizations interested in providing “quality preschool programs for at risk 4-year olds served by Head Start funding. (In determining the state/local share of funding, the local composite index (LCI) is capped at .5000.
-$52.4 million in the first year and $54.9 million the second in lottery proceeds to support 17 instructional positions per 1,000 students for whom English is a second language.
-$34.8 million in the first year and $35.2 million the second to permit the Department of Education (DOE) to enter into agreements with selected school boards to provide educational services to children in certain hospitals, clinics and detention homes.
-$28.2 million in the first year and $29.9 million the second year in general funds for the Remedial Summer School Program.
-$18.1 million in the first year and $18.2 million the second year in lottery funds to be distributed to local school divisions for assistance in improving reading for studies in grades 1 through 3 based on individual performance on diagnostic tests.
-$12.9 million in both years of the biennium in lottery proceeds for assistance to students in grades 6,7,8 and 9 at risk at failing algebra.
-$8.4 million in the first year and $8.9 million the second year from lottery proceeds for regional alternative education programs for certain expelled students.
-$7.9 million each year from lottery proceeds to assist children crossing jurisdictional lines in foster care (or other custodial care) attending public schools.
-$3.9 million in the first year and $4.2 million from lottery proceeds to continue a state funded initiative program for maximizing federal school nutrition revenues and increase student participation in the school breakfast programs.
-$7.1 million in the first year and $7.1 million the second in general funds for a targeted extended school year incentive to improve student achievement.
-$3.3 million in the first year and $4.0 million the second in general funds provided to the Virginia Early Child Foundation, which is a public-private partnership for the state’s early childhood efforts. Of the above amount:
$250,000 will be available in each year of the biennium for the Foundation’s grant program to strengthen the capacity of local communities to promote school-readiness.
$1.6 million the first year and $2.3 million the second year will be provided to the Foundation for a scholarship program to improve the skills of Virginia’s early education workforce.
$1.5 million will be available both years of the biennium to pilot an initiative to promote public-private delivery of pre-kindergarten services to high risk children.
-$2.7 million each year from lottery proceeds for the “Project Graduation” Program.
-$2.4 million each year from lottery proceeds to support the “Race to the GED” Program.
-$2.2 million each year from lottery proceeds to support the secondary schools Individual Alternative Education Program (ISAEP.)
-$2 million each year from lottery proceeds to update vocational equipment to industry standards.
Of the above amount, $1.4 million allocated each year for vocational and technical equipment in high-demand, high-skill and fast-growth industry sectors identified by the Virginia Board of Workforce Development.
In addition, $600 each year to award grants on a competitive basis for innovative programs in high-demand, fast-growth industry sectors with priority to “challenged” schools identified by the state, the governor’s STEM academies and the governor’s Health Science Academies.
-$1.8 million each year from the general fund for additional payments for reading or math instructional specialists in underperforming schools.
-$1.4 million each year from the general fund to provide a reading specialist at a school where third graders achieve less than a 75 percent SOL passing rate in reading.
-$1 million each year from lotter proceeds for statewide Mentor Teacher Programs to assist pre-service and beginning teachers to improve job performance.
-$1 million each year from the general fund to fund either an elementary school breakfast pilot program available on a voluntary basis at elementary schools where student eligibility for free or reduced lunches exceeds 45 percent of the participating school, or provide additional reimbursement for eligible meals served in the traditional school breakfast program at all school levels.
-$613,000 in the first year and $613,000 in the second for planning grants of no more than $50,000 each for local school divisions pursuing year-round schools.
-$500 each year from lottery proceeds to support the credentialing of testing materials for students and professional development of instructors in STEM-H programs
-$498,000 each year from the general fund to expand the “Virtual Virginia” as a full-time pilot program to 200 students, grades 9-12.
-$260,000 in the first year and $330 the second from the general fund to expand the virtual mathematics outreach pilot program.
-$105,000 in the first year and $300,000 the second year from general funds for the Board of Education, in consultation with the Standards of Learning (SOL) Committee to redesign the School Performance Report Card.
-$808,000 in the first year and $808,000 the second year from general funds to attract, recruit and retain high quality teachers to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM.)
-$500,000 in the first year and $500,000 the second year from general funds for grants to cover the cost of fees and financial incentives associated with hiring teachers in challenged schools through the “Teach for America” program.
-$415,000 in the first year and $415,000 the second year from general funds to attract and retain qualified Math teachers for middle school.
-$100,000 in the first year and $100,000 the second year in general funds to award supplemental grants for charter schools.
-$109,000 in the first year and $109,000 the second year in general funds to increase the number of schools implementing “a system of behavioral interventions to improve school climate and reducing disruptive behavior.”
Bond authorizations (technology)
-Through Virginia Public School Authority (VPSA) authorization for issuance of equipment notes estimated at $72.6 million in the first year and $74.8 million the second year to establish a computer-based instructional and testing system for the SOL and to develop the capability of high speed internet connectivity at high schools first, middle schools second, and elementary schools third. School divisions are directed to use these funds first to develop and maintain capability to support administration of SOL testing. Grants are awarded at maximums of $26,000 per school and $50,000 per school division.
-Through VPSA issuance of equipment notes for $6 million in both years of the biennium to offset costs of appropriate security equipment to improve safety for students in public schools. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis up to $100,000 per school division.
-The budget includes language allocating supplemental grants, through the literary fund for the E-Learning Backpack Initiative. These grants would be for schools not fully accredited through two consecutive years (FY 2016 and 2017) to provide $400 per student in the ninth grade for the purchase of a lap top or tablet and also provide $2,400 per qualifying school to purchase “content creation packages” for teachers.
-There is also language in the budget that requires each school division to report to DOE, by November 1 of each school year, on the status of broadband connectivity capability for each school.
VACo Contact: Larry Land, CAE