School superintendents frustrated with budget cuts, added regulations

Kim Robins - Posted on Jan 19, 2011 - 04:38 PM

Gloucester Public Schools superintendent Ben Kiser joined superintendents and other representatives from the 133 school districts in Virginia for a press conference to tell Gov. Bob McDonnell, members of the General Assembly, and members of Congress that they can’t have "best in the nation public education and a best in the world workforce" and cut the education budget for the third year in a row, while at the same time piling on government requirements costing more staff time and money.

The Virginia Association of School Superintendents (VASS) staged the press conference Tuesday in Richmond to vent opposition to the governor’s proposed budget amendments, state and federal mandates, pay-for-performance pilot programs, and requirements to spend 65 percent of school budgets on instruction.

"Just the loss of ‘hold harmless’ funding along with the VRS pass-on costs to localities will cripple many school divisions who already have been reduced to the point of overcrowding classrooms, reducing and eliminating arts programming, adding surcharges in the form of fees to participate in sports and other extracurricular activities, and passing administrative work on to schools because of reductions in central support staff," said VASS president-elect Pam Moran.