Institute Says New State $ Steered Away from Poor

“The budget recently agreed to by the Virginia House and Senate boosts support for pre K-12 schools after many years of significant cuts made during the recession. Unfortunately, the investments restore proportionately less funding for school divisions in high-poverty areas compared to divisions in better off areas.” So said the Richmond-based Commonwealth Institute.

“Recent per-pupil reductions in state aid were almost three times larger in school divisions with the highest percentages of students living in poverty compared to those with the fewest students in poverty.” According to the institute, the budget restores just 26 percent of the cuts for the highest poverty school divisions after adjusting for inflation. By comparison, it restores 40 percent of the cuts for the lowest-poverty divisions. “That means school divisions in the poorest areas of Virginia saw only about a quarter of their funding restored, while school divisions in wealthier parts of the state fared substantially better,” it stated.