Increasing Teacher Pay and Fully Funding Schools Should Be Top Priority for Virginia Education Summit

Fairfax, Virginia—As the Virginia Education Summit kicks off today, we hope that legislators are discussing how to ensure that we increase teacher pay and fully fund our schools. Hardworking students and families deserve a world-class education, but they can’t get ahead because while the state legislature has been controlled by Republicans, the state has been spending 8% less per student than they were pre-recession. Local government shouldn’t be left holding the bag because Republicans refuse to fund our schools adequately.  

“Every child, regardless of how much money their parents make or where they live, deserves a high-quality education with teachers who are invested in their success. But when we fail to fully fund our schools and teachers aren’t being paid a fair wage, children in our community are left behind,” Anna Scholl Executive Director of Progress Virginia said. “Voters made it clear in November that education funding is one of their top priorities, and at this summit legislators should be discussing how we can increase teacher pay and fully fund our schools in this year’s budget.”


Data from The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis 

  • Since 2008, enrollment in public schools is up 4% since 2008. 
    • There are now 55,470 more students in Virginia schools, but 379 fewer staff working in schools. 
  • Local governments are spending more to fund schools than they are required to because the state government won’t fund schools adequately. 
    • Local governments are required to spend $3.7 billion, but ended up spending $7.9 billion to ensure students have the resources they need. 
  • More students are living in poverty now than they were in 2008, so it’s even more critical that schools provide adequate services. 
    • 13.1% of all school-age children lived in poverty in 2017 compared to 12.6% in 2009.
    • 45.0% of all students were provided free or reduced-price lunch in 2018-2019 compared to 34.5% in 2008-2009.