Fredericksburg School Board asks Virginia to address school funding formula

by Adele Uphaus

The Fredericksburg School Board is asking legislators to prioritize school funding at next month’s General Assembly session.

The board approved a list of legislative priorities for the 2024 session at its regular meeting on Monday. Addressing the state’s funding formula for school divisions is at the top of the list.

The division would like to see the legislature implement recommendations made by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) in its July report on school funding.

That report found that Virginia school divisions receive less K–12 funding per student than the 50-state average, the regional average and three of Virginia’s five bordering states (Kentucky, Maryland and West Virginia).

“School divisions in other states receive 14% more per student than school divisions in Virginia, on average, after normalizing for differences in cost of labor among states. This equates to about $1,900 more per student than Virginia,” the report concludes.

The Fredericksburg School Board is also asking legislators to support additional state funding for career and technical education programs and for school construction and maintenance.

The board wants the General Assembly to provide an 8% salary increase to teachers in the next biannual budget and to support efforts to make teacher licensure more flexible.

Other legislative priorities approved Monday include expanding dual-enrollment opportunities, supporting student mental health needs, and approving additional state resources and grants for technology to improve school safety.

Managing Editor and Correspondent