WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Education Budgets Get Short Shrift, Virginia School Boards Say

Play associated audio
Some education advocates are saying that Virginia's new state budget doesn't allocate enough funding toward public education.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/fortinbras/2931835903
Some education advocates are saying that Virginia's new state budget doesn't allocate enough funding toward public education.

Virginia's legislative session is over, and while public schools were given an additional $2.35 million in this year's budget, representatives of many boards of education in the Commonwealth are concerned that they didn't get enough.

"The state dollars have been declining, the federal dollars have been declining, and it's been put back to the localities to make up that difference," says Barbara Coyle, executive director of the Virginia School Boards Association.

Everyone was pleased when Gov. Bob McDonnell found 2 percent more money for raises to teachers, but some couldn't afford the matching money required to get that cash.

At the same time, Coyle says, the state and federal governments continue to impose requirements like student-teacher ratios, special educations programs, and even nutritional mandates for school meals.

"It's costing local school boards more money to feed the kids," she says. "If it's requiring a local producer or taking away some of the commodities that were provided from the feds, how much is it going to cost them?"

She hopes state lawmakers will pay for what they require in the next session, and she also urged the legislature to allow schools to open before Labor Day.

Virginia is one of just two states that delay the start of classes so tourism has plenty of cheap summer labor. Unfortunately, Coyle says, Virginia high school students are at a disadvantage, because there's no time to refresh and prep for college entrance exams.

"The school systems that start prior to Labor Day tell me what a difference it makes when the test time comes around," says Coyle.

About half of all high schools have requested and received an exemption allowing them to open earlier, and Coyle says the rest should be spared the paperwork and allowed to do what's best for Virginia students.

NPR

Exploring The Secret History Of The Cubicle

NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with Nikil Saval about his new book Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace. It's a look at how the white-collar world came to be the way it is, and what it might become.
NPR

Restaurants Put Everything From Soup to Nuts Over The Fire

It is not only smoked meat that's in all the hottest restaurants. It's actually anything edible that is being smoked.
NPR

Obama Adds Malaysia To His Asia Itinerary

Obama travels to Malaysia next week, where the government is under fire for the handling of a missing airliner. NPR's Wade Goodwyn talks to Joshua Kurlantzick of the Council on Foreign Relations.
NPR

Watch For The Blind Lets You Feel Time Passing

A new watch allows the blind to feel time on their wrists. Designer Hyungsoo Kim tells NPR's Wade Goodwyn his watch allows users to tell time accurately without revealing their disabilities.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.