RICHMOND, Va. — Following the announcement that General Assembly legislators reached a budget deal on Friday, Freedom Virginia today announced they have launched four billboards in the Richmond/Henrico area and two in Norfolk highlighting Democratic legislators’ commitment to funding education and ensuring our students can succeed while more than one million Virginia public school students go back to school this month.
Following an alarming new report showing that Virginia schools are underfunded by over $4 billion, Freedom Virginia is thanking Democratic legislators for standing up to Governor Youngkin as he tried to give away a billion dollars in corporate handouts rather than fund our schools. The Senate Democratic budget proposal from February 2023 included a billion dollars more for schools than the House Republican budget or Youngkin’s proposed budget.
Schools need funding more than ever after earlier this year when Youngkin’s Department of Education made a clerical error leaving schools without $201 million that had been allocated to them. This mistake short-changed schools and left them scrambling to fill budget holes, and has still not been addressed nearly eight months later.
The Democratic Senate’s investment in schools will translate into things like smaller classroom sizes and more resources, meaning higher academic outcomes for our students.
“Virginia’s public school system is what makes our commonwealth such a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family,” said Rhena Hicks, Freedom Virginia’s executive director. “As a mother and a Virginian, I am so grateful to Democratic legislators for fighting to deliver a budget that values hardworking families and gives our children what they need to succeed, like smaller class sizes and more support staff in schools. Freedom Virginia is proud to stand by legislators who put our students’ success above corporations and the wealthy.”