Public education in Virginia

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K-12 Education in Virginia
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Education facts
State Superintendent: Patricia Wright
Number of students: 1,257,883[1]
Number of teachers: 90,832
Teacher/pupil ratio: 1:13.8
Number of school districts: 221
Number of schools: 2,170
Graduation rate: 83%[2]
Per-pupil spending: $10,364[3]
See also
Virginia Department of Education
Virginia school districts
List of school districts in Virginia
Virginia
School boards portal
Policypedia
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Education policy project
Public education in the United States
Public education in Virginia
Glossary of education terms
The Virginia public school system (prekindergarten-grade 12) operates within districts governed by locally elected school boards and superintendents. In 2012 Virginia had 1,257,883 students enrolled in a total of 2,170 schools in 221 school districts. While the national ratio of teachers to students was 1:16, in Virginia there were 90,832 teachers in the public schools, or roughly one teacher for every 14 students. There was roughly one administrator for every 313 students, compared to the national average of one administrator for every 295 students.[4] On average Virginia spent $10,364 per pupil in 2011, which ranked it 26th in the nation. The state's graduation rate was 83 percent in 2012. This was the Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate reported to the United States Department of Education for all students in 2011-2012.[5]

State agencies

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State Education Departments

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See also
Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction
Virginia school districts
List of school districts in Virginia
Public education in Virginia
School board elections portal
The Virginia Department of Education works in conjunction with the Virginia Board of Education as well as local school boards to create and maintain the state's public school system.[6] The Department of Education is led by the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Steven Staples was appointed to the position by Governor Terry McAuliffe.[7]

The mission statement of the Virginia Department of Education reads:[8]

The mission of Virginia's public education system is to educate students in the fundamental knowledge and academic subjects that they need to become capable, responsible, and self-reliant citizens. Therefore, the mission of the Virginia Board of Education and the superintendent of public instruction, in cooperation with local school boards, is to increase student learning and academic achievement.[9]

The Virginia Board of Education is in charge of governing and creating policy for the Virginia public school system.[8] The Board of Education is comprised of nine members who are appointed to four-year terms by the governor and confirmed by the Virginia General Assembly.[10]

Common Core

Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. As of 2014, Virginia had not adopted these standards.[11]

Regional comparison

See also: General comparison table for education statistics in the 50 states and Education spending per pupil in all 50 states

The following chart shows how Virginia compares to three neighboring states with respect to number of students, schools, the number of teachers per pupil, and the number of administrators per pupil. Further comparisons between these states with respect to performance and financial information are given in other sections of this page.

Regional Comparison
State Schools Districts Students Teachers Teacher/pupil ratio Administrator/pupil ratio Per pupil spending
Virginia 2,170 221 1,257,883 90,832 1:13.8 1:313.2 $10,364
Maryland 1,451 25 854,086 57,589 1:14.8 1:238.8 $13,871
North Carolina 2,577 236 1,507,864 97,308 1:15.5 1:287.8 $8,312
West Virginia 759 57 282,870 20,247 1:14 1:250.5 $11,846
United States 98,328 17,992 49,521,669 3,103,263 1:16 1:295.2 $10,994
Sources: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey", 2011-12 v.1a.

National Center for Education Statistics, Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013

Demographics

See also: Demographic information for all students in all 50 states

The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in Virginia as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.[12]

Demographic Information for Virginia's K-12 Public School System
Ethnicity Students State Percentage United States Percentage**
American Indian 4,132 0.33% 1.10%
Asian 75,840 6.03% 4.68%
African American 298,931 23.76% 15.68%
Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. Students 1,762 0.14% 0.42%
Hispanic 149,272 11.87% 24.37%
White 673,363 53.53% 51.21%
Two or More 54,583 4.34% 2.54%
**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.

Enrollments by region type

See also: Student distribution by region type in the U.S.

The majority of students in Virginia attend suburban or rural schools. Though this is the same in Maryland, students in North Carolina are more likely to attend city schools than suburban schools, and students in West Virginia are more likely to attend town schools than suburban schools.

Student distribution by region type, 2011 - 2012 (as percents)
State City schools Suburban schools Town schools Rural Schools
Virginia 23.0% 38.8% 6.9% 31.3%
Maryland 16.9% 59.9% 5.3% 18.0%
North Carolina 25.9% 14.1% 11.6% 48.4%
West Virginia 13.0% 15.5% 21.0% 50.4%
U.S. average 28.9% 34.0% 11.6% 25.4%
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD)

Academic performance

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Education policy terms
Academic bankruptcyAcademic EarthAcademic performanceBlaine AmendmentCharter schoolsCommon CoreDropout rateNAEPProgressive educationRegulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation RateSchool vouchersTeacher merit pay
See also

NAEP scores

See also: NAEP scores by state

The National Center for Education Statistics provides state-by-state data on student achievement levels in mathematics and reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Compared to three neighboring states (Maryland, North Carolina, and West Virginia), Virginia had a higher percentage of students score at or above proficient in math in fourth grade and eighth grade.[13]

Percent of students scoring at or above proficient, 2012-2013
Math - Grade 4 Math - Grade 8 Reading - Grade 4 Reading - Grade 8
Virginia 47 38 43 36
Maryland 47 37 45 42
North Carolina 45 36 35 33
West Virginia 35 24 27 25
U.S. average 41 34 34 34
NAEP assessment data for all students 2012-2013

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Graduation, ACT and SAT scores

See also: Graduation rates by groups in state and ACT and SAT scores in the U.S.

The following table shows the graduation rates and average composite ACT and SAT scores for Virginia and surrounding states.[13][14][15]

Comparison table for graduation rates and test scores*
State Graduation rate, 2012 Average ACT Composite, 2012 Average SAT Composite, 2013
Percent Quintile ranking** Score Participation rate Score Participation rate
Virginia 83% Second 22.4 25% 1528 71%
Maryland 84% Second 22.1 21% 1483 73%
North Carolina 80% Third 21.9 20% 1479 62%
West Virginia 79% Third 20.6 68% 1537 60%
U.S. average 80% 21.1 1498
*Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Rate (except for Idaho, Kentucky, Oklahoma, which did not report “Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate,” but instead used their own method of calculation).
**Graduation rates for states in the first quintile ranked in the top 20 percent nationally. Similarly, graduation rates for states in the fifth quintile ranked in the bottom 20 percent nationally.
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express

Dropout rate

See also: Public high school dropout rates by state for a full comparison of dropout rates by group in all states

The high school event dropout rate indicates the proportion of students who were enrolled at some time during the school year and were expected to be enrolled in grades 9–12 in the following school year but were not enrolled by October 1 of the following school year. Students who have graduated, transferred to another school, died, moved to another country, or who are out of school due to illness are not considered dropouts. The average public high school event dropout rate for the United States remained constant at 3.3 percent for both SY 2010–11 and SY 2011–12. The event dropout rate for Virginia was lower than the national average at 2.3 percent in the 2010-2011 school year, and 1.9 percent in the 2011-2012 school year.[16]

Educational choice options

See also: School choice in Virginia

School choice options in Virginia include: charter schools, education improvement tax credits, homeschooling, online learning, private schools and voluntary public school open enrollment policies.

Education funding and expenditures

See also: Virginia state budget
Breakdown of expenditures by function in FY 2012.
Source: National Association of State Budget Officers

According to the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), the state spent approximately 16 percent of its fiscal year 2012 budget on elementary and secondary education. This is down 3.3 percentage points, a 17.1 percent decrease in the share of the budget from fiscal year 2008, when the state spent 19.3 percent of its budget on elementary and secondary education.[17][18][19][20][21] Just over half of Virginia's education revenue comes from local funding. State funding accounts for approximately 37 percent, and federal funding accounts for about 10 percent.

Comparison of financial figures for school systems
State Percent of budget (2012) Per pupil spending (2011) Revenue sources (2011)
Percent federal funds Percent state funds Percent local funds
Virginia 16% $10,364 9.9% 37.11% 52.99%
Maryland 19.5% $13,871 9.35% 40.99% 49.67%
North Carolina 23.2% $8,312 14.12% 52.04% 33.85%
West Virginia 10.8% $11,846 14.73% 55.64% 29.63%
Sources:NASBO, "State Expenditure Report," Table 8: Elementary and Secondary Education Expenditures As a Percent of Total Expenditures
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013

Revenue breakdowns

See also: Public school system revenues in the U.S.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system revenues in Virginia totaled approximately $14.4 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including revenue sources, for Virginia and surrounding states.[22]

Revenues by source, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)
Federal revenue State revenue Local revenue Total revenue
Virginia $1,427,301 $5,351,177 $7,639,550 $14,418,028
Maryland $1,255,964 $5,508,339 $6,674,775 $13,439,078
North Carolina $2,086,278 $7,690,062 $5,001,904 $14,778,244
West Virginia $510,256 $1,927,726 $1,026,593 $3,464,575
U.S. total $74,943,767 $267,762,416 $264,550,594 $607,256,777
Public school revenues by source, FY 2011 (as percents)

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Expenditure breakdowns

See also: Public school system expenditures in the U.S.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system expenditures in Virginia totaled approximately $14.5 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including expenditure types, for Virginia and surrounding states.[22]

Expenditures by type, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)
Current expenditures** Capital outlay Other*** Total expenditures
Virginia $12,964,134 $1,075,067 $425,378 $14,464,579
Maryland $11,818,032 $989,839 $185,991 $12,993,862
North Carolina $12,335,701 $1,058,530 $675,207 $14,069,438
West Virginia $3,342,238 $269,242 $56,907 $3,668,387
U.S. total $520,577,893 $52,984,139 $29,581,293 $603,143,325
**Funds spent operating local public schools and local education agencies, including such expenses as salaries for school personnel, student transportation, school books and materials, and energy costs, but excluding capital outlay, interest on school debt, payments to private schools, and payments to public charter schools.
***Includes payments to state and local governments, payments to private schools, interest on school system indebtedness, and nonelementary-secondary expenditures, such as adult education and community services expenditures.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
Public school expenditures, FY 2011 (as percents)

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Personnel salaries

See also: Public school teacher salaries in the U.S.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average national salary for classroom teachers in public elementary and secondary schools has declined by 1.3 percent from the 1999-2000 school year to the 2012-2013 school year. During the same period in Virginia, the average salary decreased by 5.8 percent.[23]

Estimated average salaries for teachers (in constant dollars**)
1999-2000 2009-2010 2011-2012 2012-2013 Percent difference
Virginia $52,947 $53,388 $49,514 $49,869 -5.8%
Maryland $60,196 $68,285 $64,693 $65,265 8.4%
North Carolina $53,849 $50,010 $46,712 $45,947 -14.7%
West Virginia $47,843 $49,059 $46,074 $46,405 -3.0%
U.S. average $57,133 $58,925 $56,340 $56,383 -1.3%
**"Constant dollars based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to a school-year basis. The CPI does not account for differences in inflation rates from state to state."

Organizations

Unions

In 2012, the Fordham Institute and Education Reform Now assessed the power and influence of state teacher unions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Their rankings were based on 37 different variables in five broad areas, including: resources and membership, involvement in politics, scope of bargaining, state policies and perceived influence. Virginia ranked 47th overall, or weakest, which was in the last tier of five.[24]

The main union related to the Virginia school system is the Virginia Education Association (VEA), an affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA).

List of local Virginia school unions:[25]

Taxpayer-funded lobbying

See also: Virginia government sector lobbying

The main education government sector lobbying organization is the Virginia School Boards Association. The government sector lobbying organization for school personnel is the Virginia Association of School Personnel Administrators.

Transparency

In 2009 the Virginia State Legislature passed two transparency bills: Senate Bill 936 and House Bill 2285.[26] SB 936 and HB 2285 created a searchable database website containing information on state revenues, appropriations and expenditures.[27]

Education ballot measures

See also: Education on the ballot and List of Virginia ballot measures

Ballotpedia staff have tracked 1 statewide ballot measures relating to education.

  1. Virginia Bond Question 1 (2002)

Studies and reports

ABCs of School Choice

The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice publishes a comprehensive guide to private school choice programs across the U.S. In its 2014 edition, the Foundation reviewed Virginia's Education Improvement Scholarships Tax Credits Program, which was launched in 2013. The program gives tax credits to businesses and individual taxpayers who donate to scholarship granting organizations. Unless there are special circumstances, only students whose household income is less than 300 percent of the federal poverty line are eligible to receive the scholarships. The Foundation found that the program's $25 million funding cap further limits the number of students who are eligible to receive funding. The Foundation suggested the funding cap be increased, the eligibility standards be widened to include more students and the amount of scholarship funding for each student be increased as well.[28] The full Friedman Foundation report can be found here.

State Budget Solutions education study

See also: State spending on education v. academic performance (2012)

State Budget Solutions examined national trends in education from 2009 to 2011, including state-by-state analysis of education spending, graduation rates, and average ACT scores. The study showed that the states which spent the most did not have the highest average ACT test scores, nor did they have the highest average graduation rates. A summary of the study is available here. The full report can be accessed here.

Recent news

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Virginia Education News Feed

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See also

External links

References

  1. National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
  2. ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
  3. United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
  4. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD); Table 2.—Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011-12," accessed May 12, 2014
  5. United States Department of Education, "ED Data Express," accessed May 12, 2014
  6. Virginia Department of Education, "Vision Statement," accessed June 3, 2014
  7. Virginia Department of Education, "Superintendent of Public Instruction," accessed June 3, 2014
  8. 8.0 8.1 Virginia Department of Education, "About VDOE," accessed June 3, 2014
  9. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  10. Virginia Department of Education, "Virginia Board of Education," accessed June 3, 2014
  11. Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State," accessed July 12, 2014
  12. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014
  14. ACT, "2012 ACT National and State Scores," accessed May 13, 2014
  15. Commonwealth Foundation, "SAT Scores by State 2013," October 10, 2013
  16. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Dropout and Graduation Rate Data File, School Year 2010-11, Provision Version 1a and School Year 2011-12, Preliminary Version 1a," accessed May 13, 2014
  17. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2011-2013," accessed February 21, 2014
  18. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009-2011," accessed February 24, 2014
  19. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditures Report, 2010-2012," accessed February 24, 2014
  20. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009," accessed February 24, 2014
  21. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2008," accessed February 24, 2014
  22. 22.0 22.1 United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2010–11," accessed May 13, 2014
  23. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 211.60. Estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, by state: Selected years, 1969-70 through 2012-13," accessed May 13, 2014
  24. Thomas E Fordham Institute, "How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison," October 29, 2012
  25. Center for Union Facts, "Virginia teachers unions," accessed September 30, 2009
  26. Tertium Quids, "Transparency Bills Pass Senate, House," February 25, 2009
  27. Virginia General Assembly, "SB 936," accessed 2009
  28. The Friedman Foundation for Education Choice, "The ABCs of School Choice," 2014 Edition