2024 Newsletter 4 – GA and Gov. Youngkin Reach Budget Compromise
News2024 Newsletter 4 – GA and Gov. Youngkin Reach Budget Compromise

The Virginia General Assembly met in Special Session on Monday, May 13, 2024, for the purpose of adopting the 2024 -2026 Biennium Budget. After weeks of negotiations between Senate and House budget writers and Governor Glenn Youngkin, lawmakers maintained the two-year funding levels that were included in the Conference Report adopted by the General Assembly in March. According to a presentation from the House Appropriations Committee staff, lawmakers were able to maintain funding levels found in the Conference Report because revenue collections for fiscal 2024 “are running well ahead of forecast.”

The plan adopted with overwhelming support in each legislative chamber was signed into law by Governor Youngkin on Monday afternoon and will become the Commonwealth’s two-year spending plan from July 1, 2024, through June 30, 2026. Lawmakers will address revisions to the budget when they convene for the short session of the General Assembly next January in Richmond.

To review the entire 2024 – 2026 Biennial Budget, please click here. If you have any questions regarding the two-year spending plan, please contact me at jason@vsba.org or by calling the VSBA offices at 434-295-8722 Ext. 116.

Specific items of interest in the 2024 – 2026 budget pertaining to K12 education are:

Supplemental General Fund Payment in Lieu of Sales Tax on Food and Personal Hygiene Products (Grocery Tax):
Appropriates $272,500,000 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 and $273,600,000 in FY 2026 holding school divisions harmless for the state’s portion of the Grocery Tax which was repealed in 2022. This appropriation is an increase of $14.1 million dollars over the previous biennium providing for adjustments to generated revenue estimates.

Three Percent of State Share for SOQ Supported Positions in Each Year of the Biennium:
Provides $178,149,562 in FY 2025 and $361,023,394 in FY 2026 from the general fund is provided for the state share SOQ Supported Positions. The state share of funding provided to a school division in support of this compensation supplement shall be prorated for school divisions that provide less than an average 3.0 percent salary increase the FY 2025; however, to access these funds, a school division must provide at least an average 1.5 percent salary increase FY 2025. Additional flexibilities are provided in FY 2026 for divisions to access these funds. Please click here for specific details on accessing state funds in each year of the biennium.

At-Risk Add On:
Provides $616,036,160 in FY 2025 and $648,037,570 in FY 2026 from the general fund and $225,180,150 in FY 2025 and $192,396,464 in FY 2026 from the Lottery Proceeds Fund to distribute the state share of funds for the At-Risk Program. This is an increase of over $300,000,000 to the program. Click here for more specific information on the At-Risk Add On appropriation.

English Learner Teacher Payments
A payment of $165,982,653 in FY 2025 and $170,304,480 in FY 2026 from the general fund shall be disbursed by the Department of Education to local school divisions to support the state’s share of professional instructional positions for English Learner teachers.  This is an increase of over $72 million from the previous biennium for English Learners.

To provide flexibility in implementing this new staffing standard in FY 2025, the number of English Learner teachers required for each school division for the first year shall be equal to the number of such teachers that were required during the 2023-2024 school year. Please review the staffing standard and other specifics from this appropriation by clicking here.