NORFOLK, Va. – — Lawmakers passed a budget Wednesday with additional money to invest in education.
The budget provides an additional $645 million for K-12 schools.
Lawmakers passed budget amendments to the two year budget more than two months late after failing to reach agreements on tax cuts.
Gov. Youngkin visiting Norfolk for ‘important economic development’ announcement
8:05 AM, May 10, 2023
Gov. Youngkin visiting Norfolk to make ‘important economic development’ announcement
The budget is a compromise with support from Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who said in a statement he applauds their efforts.
“While this day is late, I’m pleased to say we have a budget,” said Del. Barry Knight (R-Virginia Beach.) “Nothing is one sided around here when we have divided government.”
Knight said the state is funding more than $10 billion in schools, a record.
For schools, lawmakers had previously approved giving teachers a 5% raise for each of the budget years, but now they’ve approved 2% more, so teachers are eligible for 12% raises over the two years.
“This is a good thing. We want our public schools to thrive,” said Sen. Barbara Favola (D-Arlington). “We want our students to have the best teachers and we’re having trouble right now attracting teachers and retaining them. This was a smart move.”
It also calls for more than $400 million of one time payments for school systems, where schools can decide how to use the money.
Lawmakers are encouraging them to spend it on recovery from learning loss.
“We also have to help make up for learning loss and this flexibility and the way these dollars will be sent to these school systems will make that happen,” said Favola.
There’s also $20 million to fund grants to address school security.
Lawmakers said they’ll be working next year to continue to look at how schools are funded following a study from the that found schools are underfunded in Virginia.
“This budget will make a difference in all of our communities no matter which side of the aisle you sit on,” said House Democratic Leader Del. Don Scott, of Portsmouth.
In addition, the bill cuts taxes by a billion dollars by increasing the standard deduction on taxes.
There’s also a tax rebate of $200 for individuals and $400 for joint filers.
The bill also reinstates a tax holiday for purchasing things like school supplies and hurricane preparedness. It will be held on the third weekend in October this year.
The bill also spends more than $150 on mental health services, including funds to create crisis receiving centers.