Northern Virginia officials, McDonnell meet on school funding
You have to hand it to Northern Virginia leaders. They sure are being persistent in lobbying Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) on a funding change that they say would prove costly to the region's school systems.
Their latest attempt: Last Thursday, the chairmen of the boards of supervisors in Fairfax, Prince William and Loudoun counties -- Sharon Bulova (D), Corey Stewart (R) and Scott York (I) -- met privately with McDonnell to ask him to oppose a freeze in the adjustment to the school funding formula known as the local composite index, a change proposed by former Gov. Tim Kaine (D) in his final two-year budget.
"This is going to drastically hurt education in Northern Virginia,'' Stewart said. "The only thing we request is fairness."
"It was a productive meeting,'' said Stacey Johnson, McDonnell's spokeswoman. "The Governor is still reviewing the issue."
Stewart said McDonnell did not indicate which was he was leaning, but told the chairmen that he would seriously consider their concerns and get back to them soon.
"He clearly understood the issue,'' Stewart said. "He's struggling with it."
McDonnell told reporters last week that he has yet to make a decision about whether to undo the freeze to the formula, which is used to determine how much of the cost of providing a basic education is shouldered by the state and how much is paid by local governments. He did note, however, that Kaine's plan is not being met "very warmly in Northern Virginia."
Kaine suggested freezing the composite index to save some money in the state budget. The change also would delay a cut in education spending in 97 of the state's least-wealthy counties.
The division between the state and local governments varies from place to place, using a formula that takes into account localities' wealth. Many Northern Virginians have long believed that the formula was unfair and resulted in the wealthy Washington suburbs shouldering far more of the costs of their local schools than in other parts of the state.
But now the economy has declined and Northern Virginia has lost a bit of its wealth. That will be reflected in the composite index, whenever it is recalculated. The result will be that the state picks up more of the expense of education in places such as Loudoun, Prince William and Fairfax.
Delaying the recalculation will put off that change, meaning local governments in Northern Virginia will pay more: $61 million in Fairfax, $34.4 million in Loudoun, $22.6 million in Prince William. Other Northern Virginia jurisdictions lose out as well.
February 8, 2010; 7:30 AM ET
Categories: Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell
Save & Share: Previous: Weekly roundup for Virginia General Assembly as crossover approaches
Next: How have your officials handled Snowmageddon?
Posted by: Ebola_22039 | February 8, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: noahwayy | February 8, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: FairfaxSchoolParent | February 8, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: thuff7 | February 9, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.