Small, rural school divisions across Virginia continue to face declining student enrollments, difficulty competing for high-quality teachers, inadequate facility and capital projects funding and pressure from unfunded mandates at both state and federal levels, placing them at a significant financial disadvantage with larger and more affluent school divisions.
Areas of Focus
Teacher Recruitment and Retention
School Construction Funding
Increasing At-Risk Add-ons
Proposed Coalition of Small and Rural Schools Legislative Priorities for 2024
- Continue to protect the At-Risk Add On and fund more items with this methodology.
- Continue to fund the School Construction Program
- Protect students and improve absenteeism by adding "Educational Neglect" to the Code.
- Virginia defines abuse and neglect a little differently than most states. Whereas most states clump different types of neglect into one basket, like this example from South Dakota "Whose parent, guardian, or custodian fails or refuses to provide proper or necessary subsistence, supervision, education, medical care, or any other care necessary for the child’s health, guidance, or well-being;", Virginia separates abuse in neglect into separate categories; physical, mental, and sexual (see this link 22VAC40-705-30. Types of abuse and neglect.)
- We can easily add a section to 22VAC40-705-30 that would cover educational neglect. The very simple addition could look like this:
- E. Educational neglect occurs when the child's caretaker permits chronic truancy (defined as 10% of the school year - 18 days per year or 9 days per semester), fails to homeschool, register, or enroll a child of mandatory school age, or fails to allow or obtain recommended remedial educational services or services provided by the child's IEP, without reasonable cause.
- Improve resources and financial support to ensure students have access to adequate mental/behavioral health services.
- Teacher Recruitment and Retention
- make pay competitive with border States
- allow teachers who drive buses to count that income as creditable compensation with VRS
Videos from Summit
School Construction and Modernization Legislative Panel - Senator McClellan, Senator Dunnavant, Delegate O'Quinn, and Delegate Hurst Moderated by Carol Cash
Implementing Infrastructure Improvements with Budget Constraints - Cheryl Midkiff
Impact of School Design on Student Learning - Pete Gretz and Stephan Halsey
State Superintendent's Report - James Lane
How Crumbling School Facilities Perpetuate Inequity - Mary Filardo
Flexible Financing and Federal Funding - Chad Stewart and D.R. Dugan
Impact on New School Facility on Rural Communities Panel Discussion - Haydee Robinson, Dashan Turner, Paul Nichols, and Kevin Siers Moderated by Kristy Midgette
Virginia’s Moonshot Moment to Modernize Schools
Lawmakers have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to modernize our school infrastructure with one-time discretionary funding from the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund. Read the fact sheet below to find out more.