End the Underfunding of Our Schools, Fund the SOQs Now

Members of the 2021 Virginia General Assembly

Two years ago, the Virginia Board of Education revised our state's Standards of Quality, the system used to fund our public schools and, in reality, only a set of minimum standards for a high-quality education. The General Assembly has failed to fully fund the SOQs. Doing so is not only long overdue, it's legislators' constitutional responsibility!

To: Members of the 2021 Virginia General Assembly
From: [Your Name]

We, the professionals who work in Virginia’s public schools, have raised our voices for years in protest of the underfunding of those schools and the lasting impact it has on our young people. Our voices have now been joined by the Virginia Board of Education, which has revised the Standards of Quality, the system we use to fund our schools and has been trying for two years to get the General Assembly to fulfill its constitutional duty to our students and educators by fully funding those Standards.

The General Assembly has yet to do so.

SOQs are really only minimum standards for high-quality public education. In defining them, the Board included essential items, including staffing ratios for school counselors, social workers, school nurses, and assistant principals; the reversal of funding cuts made during the recession; and removing the cap on support staff funding.

The General Assembly must not ignore the Board’s SOQs again. Legislators were elected to and sworn to offer the young people of our commonwealth a top-notch public education. It is their constitutional responsibility.

We, the undersigned, demand that they fulfill that responsibility and fully fund the SOQs by supporting the School Equity and Staffing Act (SB1257 and HB 1929) filed in the 2021 session by Senator Jennifer McClellan and Delegate Lashrecse Aird.