Mixed Results for Kids in Virginia
The New Budget Has Some Good Education News – And Some Not-So-Good
Virginia’s General Assembly has reached a deal on a budget that includes $100 million for lab schools – innovative K-12 schools that partner with institutions of higher learning and allow for the development and testing of new educational models. At the same time, the legislature has proposed cutting the state’s tax credit scholarship in half.
Shortly after his inauguration, Youngkin established a partnership with more than 30 schools jointly to express their support for the creation of lab schools. He has set a goal of creating 20 lab schools as well as to expand charter schools and other initiatives that would provide families access to the best education for their children.
Education has been a priority for Youngkin’s administration from the beginning as they pushed to create more options for Virginia’s families. This move forward on lab schools is an early sign of significant progress being made on that front – but there is still work to be done on another important education priority.
Under former Governor Bob McDonnell, Virginia created an Education Improvement Scholarship Tax Credit which provided access to private schools that many families would not otherwise be able to afford. Now, the General Assembly has cut the program – which had been growing by 20% per year – by half.
The budget has now been sent to Governor Youngkin who has seven days to submit amendments – such as saving the scholarship program – to the General Assembly. It is likely Virginians will know what improvements the governor will recommend by this Thursday.