Budget proposal introduced by Gov. Northam includes $500 million for VA schools
Virginia – Governor Ralph Northam just proposed $500 million in the budget for K-12 schools over the next two years.
In central Virginia, schools are struggling with remote learning, loss of students, and added expenses because of the virus.
Campbell County’s Superintendent, Dr. Bobby Johnson, says while it’s just a proposal, it’s encouraging to see schools getting top priority so far in the budget.
Dr. Johnson plans to use the money for teacher pay and stronger online learning platforms.
“The no-loss funding was the most important thing the governor included in this budget,” says Dr. Johnson.
No-loss funding means even though school districts lost students because of the pandemic, they’ll still get the same amount of funding as the year before.
Typically lost students mean lost revenue.
Roanoke City Schools agree the no-loss funding will help them.
In a statement to ABC13, the division wrote that if adopted as is, “The governor’s amendments would mean $2.3 million in additional state funding this fiscal year, and a possible increase of $4-6 million for 2021-2022.”
Of course, this proposal is not finalized, which is why Appomattox County Superintendent, Dr. Annette Bennett, says it’s too early to plan.
“Everything is so turned upside down in terms of budgeting and expenses and income,” says Dr. Bennett.
Dr. Bennett says she is optimistic that if schools are prioritized, then they’ll make it through the coming fiscal years with less stress.
In a statement, the Lynchburg City School system says they also haven’t made any plans.
They’ll discuss the proposal in the next school budget meeting.
The proposal is a starting point.
The general assembly still needs to approve the budget during the next General Assembly session.
It will likely see some changes before it’s finalized.