Making the Grade, Breaking the Budget

By: Erin Tate
By: Erin Tate

"The only way to have a top flight education is to pay for it," said Senator Russ Potts, (R) 27th District to a packed room of school superintendents from across the Commonwealth.

Potts knows the secret for school success in Virginia, but making the budget to make the grade isn't as elementary as one might think.

The Governor's recent cuts are a cause for concern for superintendents across the state.

The Virginia Association of School Superintendents stood strong in Richmond Monday, vying for the attention of legislators. It worked.

"We will never ever give up the fight for funding that is so necessary for public education," said Potts.

Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine, (D) Virginia, added, "There is no more important Virginia value than the importance of public education."

Superintendents from throughout the Valley were among the most instrumental speakers of the day. John Kidd of Rockingham County met with the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees to discuss the education budget.

"I think we have some heads turned and we need to make this statement as loud as possible. We can't keep doing this locally by ourselves. We need the state to help us," Kidd said.

State-mandated standards of quality are difficult for localities to fund alone. But Waynesboro Superintendent Lowell Lemons is hopeful that change is on the way.

"We're starting to hear a real acknowledgement from Richmond that they have been under funding education and I'm hoping that's going to mean a commitment to do the right thing," Lowell said.

Superintendents say their students are performing at an all-time high and that's why schools can't afford to lose funding.

Also, Rockingham County's own John Kidd will serve as the Association of School Superintendent's next president.

The group also attended a reception with Gov. Warner Monday evening.

50 North Main Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540-433-9191 - Switchboard 540-433- 4028 - Fax 540-433-2700 - News Fax

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