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As Attention Turns To Richmond, Hope For A Big Education Budget

Youngkin Election Night
Andrew Harnik
Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin arrives to speak at an election night party in Chantilly, Va., early Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021, after he defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe.

In his victory speech the night he won the election for governor, Glenn Youngkin promised the largest education budget in the history of Virginia.

Matthew Steinberg at George Mason University's Schar School says he wants to see the details of how someone who ran on cutting taxes plans to pay for that. "The details are not clear in terms of how he plans on going about not only raising teacher salaries, which currently stand at the bottom of the pack around 32nd nationwide in terms of average public school teacher salaries, but where the additional state aid is going to come from in terms of new revenue."

Rachael Deane at the Legal Aid Justice Center says she hopes that record-breaking education budget will fully fund the standards of quality approved by the State School Board. "We're talking about things like staffing standards for certain positions," Deane explains. "We're talking about things like additional funding pools for students who need additional resources or mediation. What I like to call it is essentially a recipe for a high quality education in Virginia."

When the next House of Delegates meets, the new Republican majority will have a new House Budget chairman -- someone who will be overseeing the new governor's promise to deliver a historic education budget next year.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.