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ERIC Number: EJ901804
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0098-9495
The Evolution of Virginia Public School Finance: From the Beginnings to Today's Difficulties
Salmon, Richard G.
Journal of Education Finance, v36 n2 p143-161 Fall 2010
Public elementary and secondary education, a vast, uneven and complex system, is the most significant cost to local government and one of the largest costs to state government in Virginia. Meeting this cost has become even more difficult as the state and nation continue to struggle with the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression. Many observers believe Virginia, like other states, will feel an even tighter financial pinch when the current infusion of federal stimulus funding is withdrawn. In light of these pressures, the analysis presented in this article examines the historical background of public school funding in Virginia and the complicated and controversial formulas used for supporting primary and secondary education throughout the state. This article concludes that despite the harsh economic climate, Virginia's public education funding is relatively stronger today than in its often-troubled past. But although Virginia has the potential to remedy the current fiscal plight, the state ranks among the lowest in the nation for fiscal effort for education based on personal income. There are severe funding disparities among Virginia school divisions, with the least affluent localities suffering the most. Solving education funding problems will not be easy, but if economic crises have a saving grace, it is in forcing stakeholders to look for the most efficient ways to operate. When federal stimulus funds are withdrawn, the state may well have to consider a tax increase if public education is to be maintained even at its current most basic level. (Contains 4 tables and 53 footnotes.)
University of Illinois Press. 1325 South Oak Street, Champaign, IL 61820-6903. Tel: 217-244-0626; Fax: 217-244-8082; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Virginia