Virginia’s General Assembly has agreed on a budget for the next two years, but Governor Terry McAuliffe is not happy with some parts of the spending plan. In an exclusive interview, he told WVTF’s Sandy Hausman he wants more cash for certain schools.
Virginia’s unemployment rate is down to just over four percent, and the state ended its last fiscal year with a surplus. Governor Terry McAuliffe is vowing to put the extra cash -- about a billion dollars -- into public education, but he says lawmakers should be strategic in spending that money.
“You know we’ve got huge issues in certain parts of the Commonwealth. Come down the Eastern Shore to Southside, Southwest, then up through the Appalachian Mountains. That’s about two million population called the Rural Horseshoe. About 500,000 of those folks don’t have a high school diploma today. Wealthier school districts - they’re doing fine, but what are not doing fine are what I call those schools at risk, and that needs more of our attention, not less.”
McAuliffe had proposed giving $50 million in extra aid to Virginia’s poorest schools. State lawmakers cut that figure to $14 million, but McAuliffe says he’s still lobbying for targeted assistance. The legislature meets to reach final agreement on a two-year budget April 20th.