Gov. Bob McDonnell outlined his plans for additional K-12 funding Tuesday, which you may have missed since he also made another important funding announcement that day about mental health.
Both are important, but if you’re like me news of the education dollars may have gotten eclipsed in your Twitter feed by the fact McDonnell also announced a proposal to bolster the state’s mental health care system, including funneling $38 million more to support services in the next two years.
So, let’s take a look back at the education announcement (short version: McDonnell proposes $582.6 million in new funding for K-12 over the next two years) and break it down.
First, according to this story from the Daily Press, while McDonnell announced more funding for K-12 the amount is still below the House and Senate finance committee projections, according to the paper’s calculations, for the cost of rebenchmarking and Virginia Retirement System increases.
This might also be a good time to point out McDonnell will officially present his budget Monday and that will certainly change as he leaves office and Gov.-Elect Terry McAuliffe enters and the General Assembly begins.
Second, let’s look at the more notable aspects of what the governor had to say yesterday.
– One of the things that first caught my eye was the $600,000 per year to staff the Opportunity Educational Institute. Need a refresher on the statewide entity that can take over schools try here. It hasn’t been popular with educators.
– Also, interesting was $4.3 million in the next two years for additional math and reading specialists for schools who are not accredited.
– There’s also dollars for pre-K, which we’ve seen a push for recently, see here and here. McDonnell proposes $7.4 million in the next two years to build on the state’s pre-K programs. He also calls for $2 million for “kindergarten readiness assessment programs.”
For a complete look at what’s proposed check out the press release here.
So, what do you think of the proposal? Agree? Disagree? Got other ideas for where money should go?
Also, on Wednesday McDonnell outlined a proposal for higher ed spending, check that out here.