Northam proposes $1.2B investment in K-12 education
Governor says it includes the largest increase for at-risk schools in Virginia history.
Gov. Ralph Northam’s proposed budget includes a $1.2 billion investment in K-12 education, he announced Monday.
The budget includes the largest increase for at-risk schools in Virginia history, Northam said. It would also raise teacher salaries by 3%, fund additional school counselors and new staff supports for English language learners and makes flexible funds available for local school divisions.
“Students deserve quality public schools, no matter where they live,” Northam said in a statement. “This budget provides extra funding to help close the achievement gap in high-need schools, especially in urban and rural Virginia. Every child should have access to a world-class education, and this budget advances that commitment.”
The governor’s budget proposal includes:
- $808.5 million for “formula-driven enrollment and program updates.”
- 4 million in flexible funds to help educationally at-risk students in school divisions with high percentages of students receiving free and reduced costs lunches.
- $145.1 million to give teachers a 3% raise and fund instructional and support positions
- $125 million in flexible funds for local school divisions
- $99.3 million to hire additional school counselors for every grade level.
- $27.6 million to hire additional instructors for English language learners.
- $10.6 million for school breakfast and lunch programs for families qualifying for reduced price meals.
“This historic budget reaffirms our clear and ongoing commitment to educational equity our public education system,” Secretary of Education Atif Qarni said in a statement. “These bold changes will dramatically increase supports for educationally at-risk learners, help us recruit and retain the best teachers, and help school divisions serve the unique needs of their students.”