Legislative Program 2018

SECTION 1: STATE EDUCATIONAL ISSUES

The Hanover County School Board:

  • Encourages the Virginia General Assembly to continuously improve and examine the state’s current system of accountability to reflect the importance of a holistic education.

  • Urges the Virginia General Assembly to fully fund the cost of implementing the Standards of Quality (SOQ). The costs should reflect the actual operating expenditures of local school divisions, including instructional and support costs.

  • Requests removing the positions directly related to classroom instruction in the SOQ Support Position Cap or eliminating the cap on support position funding.

  • Supports the funding of all positions identified in the Standards of Accreditation (SOA) by function rather than individual position description.

  • Urges the state to increase funding in support of competitive salaries to enhance the recruitment and retention of the best instructional and support staff.

  • Urges the Virginia General Assembly to address the impending teacher shortage crisis in the Commonwealth (and throughout the nation), to include the development of alternative pathways to teacher licensure and the support of enhanced recruitment and retention of teachers.

  • Supports additional legislative and regulatory requirements for public K-12 education only if they are reasonably cost effective, will result in demonstrable improvements to education to educational outcomes or student health and safety and are fully funded by the state on an ongoing basis.

  • Supports moving the June Primary date to the third Tuesday in June. Doing so will mitigate issues related to student safety in schools used as voter precincts during these elections.

  • Requests that the General Assembly appropriates adequate monies to fund its pro rata share of the required contributions for VRS benefits for state funded teacher salaries and that the State make its contributions directly to VRS so that the State liability will be accurately reported under applicable accounting standards.

  • Urges the General Assembly to renew the 2.5% tuition increase and the $50 per course per student adjustment indexed to increases in Basic Aid and not subject to the Local Composite Index for all Governors’ Schools.

SECTION II: NATIONAL EDUCATION ISSUES

The Hanover County School Board:
  • Urges the federal government to fully fund the additional costs and requirements accruing to local school divisions for the implementation of federal accountability.

  • Urges the federal government to fully fund IDEIA 2004. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 1975 indicated that the federal government would fund 40 percent of the cost of educating children with disabilities. Approximately 90 percent of the funding for special education comes from local and state taxpayer dollars. The United States Congress funded an estimated 10 percent of special education costs – less than 40 percent of its obligation. 

Special education costs vary considerably on a case by case basis. In Hanover’s most recent excess cost report, the average annual cost to educate a non-special education student was $7,753; the average cost to educate a special education student in the same year was $14,132 — an additional amount of $6,378 per pupil to meet special education needs. 

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