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$1.4 Billion in New Funding Equals VA Education “Status Quo”

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 By Deborah Smith/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - VA, Contact
September 7, 2007

Richmond, VA – Virginia public schools are due for a quality check. The state is preparing to review minimum standards for things like class size and updated textbooks, and the Standards of Quality Coalition says meeting those minimum goals means the state needs to come up with $1.4 billion in new funding over the next two years. Princess Moss, with the Virginia Education Association, says the money is essential to maintaining the high quality of education in the state.

"What we know in education is that smaller class sizes are more conducive to great learning, and that's what we want."

Moss says, even with budget difficulties on the horizon, it's important to keep in mind that Virginia is the seventh richest state in the country.

"We rank 32nd in per-pupil funding. We're about $5,300 below the national average when it comes to teacher salaries. We can do better."

Moss says if the state doesn't come up with its share of school funding, local taxpayers will have to foot more of the cost, and she predicts larger class sizes. Virginia is facing a financial shortfall for the next budget.

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