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PWC School Board to talk to state legislators about funding priorities

In preparation for the 2015 Virginia Legislative Session, the Prince William County School Board will present its legislative priorities to the Prince William delegation at a breakfast meeting scheduled for Monday, November 24 at 7:30 a.m. at the Kelly Leadership Center.

The School Board approved its “Legislative Priorities” at its October 1 meeting and will be working with our legislators on these items, some of which require continued or improved state funding.

The School Board’s number one issue is to fully fund the Standards of Quality (SOQ) at appropriate levels to take into account the real cost of meeting SOQ requirement, not just the minimum previously assessed by the state to be necessary.

The second item is to fund annual teacher salary increases and reinstate full funding for the Cost-Of-Competing Allocation (COCA) for PWCS and other Region 4 school divisions. COCA is intended to provide additional funds to school divisions for the higher staffing costs in Northern Virginia. Based on past legislative sessions, PWCS has lost millions of dollars in COCA funding.

The School Board also requests continued annual funding to PWCS to coordinate the statewide implementation of our computer refurbishing program, VA STAR, which provides opportunities for high school students to earn information technology certification and provides free computers to students and schools in need of technology.

Additionally, the School Board supports legislation that would eliminate the “A-F Grading” of Virginia Schools; continue to reexamine Virginia’s public school student assessments and the corresponding system of accountability; and give local school boards the option to count up to 15 minutes of daily, unstructured elementary school recess as part of the instructional day, as a more accurate accounting of instructional minutes.

The legislative priorities package includes statements of support or opposition to a number of issues that may come before the General Assembly as bills that affect public school education in K-12 subject areas.

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