RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Virginia education groups and local governments are asking the General Assembly to restore public-education funding as many districts grapple with declining property-tax collections and more students, including non-English speakers and those with special needs.
Representatives of the Virginia PTA, the Virginia Municipal League and other groups said Wednesday that the state must reinvest in public education now that the economy is improving. They noted that Gov. Bob McDonnell's budget amendments account for about $500 million in new revenue, but don't propose to increase the state's share of K-12 funding.
The biennial budget the General Assembly adopted last year cut $250 million from K-12, and many localities saw tax revenues drop as the economy soured. As a result, school divisions had to lay off thousands of employees, cut programs and impose fees on extracurricular activities.