Here's a quick update on recent budget announcements and ways you can get involved this January as we #RaiseOurVoices to protect education funding.
Last week, Governor Northam released budget amendments that will be discussed in the 2021 Virginia General Assembly session, which starts on Jan 13th. 

Here are proposed amendments that align with our legislative priorities:

  • Language to hold schools harmless for enrollment and sales tax decline, thus preserving funds previously to education in the biennium budget.

  • $27 million for school counselors
  • $80 million for a two-percent bonus for teachers/support staff
  • $16 million to expand access to early childhood education
  • $15 million for Broadband expansion in FY2022 via the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative (VATI)

We recognize that this is a fiscally challenging year, however, safely re-opening our schools demands a uniform standard of care across the state and should not be deferred to local governments. School divisions require additional resources to provide safe in-person instruction alongside virtual learning to meet the myriad of needs that have been exacerbated by a decade of state under-funding. 

Virginia PTA urges the General Assembly to:

  • Fund the critical components Governor Northam identified to stabilize and restore education funding, including specifically the allotments for school counselors, broadband improvements and early childhood education.

  • Fund the school equity and staffing recommendations made by the Virginia Board of Education that ensure each school has basic staffing, support for teachers and supplemental funds to support at risk students.

  • Fund a Registered School Nurse for each school to enable a safe return to in-person instruction and provide uniform acute and chronic care for students.

This January, join us for a series of Learning Lab webinars to learn about advocacy as a PTA and as an individual member of the Virginia PTA. Then, join us for Constituent Connections and a Virtual Rally to #RaiseOurVoices and #TakeAction4Kids.
Important Dates for the 2021 General Assembly Session
  • Wed. Dec 16th - Governor's Budget Announcement
  • Wed. Jan 6th - House and Senate Budget Hearings REGISTER TO SPEAK
  • Thurs. Jan 7th - Learning Lab: Part 1
  • Tues. Jan 12th - Learning Lab: Part 2 
  • Wed. Jan 13th - 2021 General Assembly Starts
  • Thurs. Jan 14th - #VirtualRally                 
  • Jan 18th - Feb 5th - #ConstituentConnections.  
  • Thurs. Jan 21st - Learning Lab: Part 3 
  • Thurs. Feb 25th - Learning Lab: Part 4 

Let's #RaiseOurVoices this session to support our schools!
Yesterday, the Senate voted 92-6 on a $2.3 trillion package, which includes $1.4 trillion to fund the government and $900 billion in coronavirus relief. This is the first time Congress has passed additional coronavirus relief aid since April. President Trump has until December 28th to sign the bill.The combined omnibus+coronavirus legislation is among the largest spending bills ever considered by Congress and includes $600 stimulus checks for those making up to $75,000.

The 2021 Fiscal Spending Bill includes $40.6B in K-12 Spending
  • $16.5B -> Title I aid
  • $14.1B -> Special education

Department of Health & Human Services:
  • $10.7B -> Head Start
  • $5.9B -> Child Care and Development Block Grants

The COVID Relief bill includes $82 billion for Education Relief Funds:
  • $54.3B -> Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund
  • $22.7B ->Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund
  • $4.1B -> Governors Emergency Relief Fund ($2.75B for private schools)
  • $818.8M -> Bureau of Indian Affairs schools

The relief bill also includes $13B to increase SNAP benefits and emergency funds for school and day care feeding; $10B for Child care; $3.2 billion to address broadband affordability; and $65 million to complete the broadband mapping. E-Rate funding that supports internet service for schools and libraries was not included.

Schools can use the relief aid to address learning loss, improve school facilities and infrastructure to reduce the risk of transmitting the coronavirus, and to purchase education technology. This funding would be available through September 2022.
Virginia Promise Partnership
Virginia PTA is proud to join the Virginia Promise Partnership to advocate for and support policies that will provide families with better access to affordable, quality childcare by 2030.

We can't wait to get to work with our many partners to help all of our children have access to the programs they need to realize their full potential. You can follow coalition work on their new facebook page and website.

The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC), the non-partisan research and oversight agency of the Virginia state legislature, recently concluded a study of Special Education services in Virginia and confirmed what many of our parents have said for years - that IEPs are not consistently designed to be effective and reliable guides for special education services and that the VDOE’s handling of complaints against school divisions does not ensure all problems are resolved.

Part 1: Building an Advocacy Climate in Your School
(Thurs. Jan. 7th, 7:00-8:30 pm)
Re-connect with our PTA mission and include advocacy in your PTA work. We will talk about balancing fundraising with advocacy and how to build family engagement and programs that lift-up issues that are important to your community. We will also talk about how to use resolutions and position statements to elevate issues with your school board and legislators, and ways to build community awareness through grass roots and digital advocacy.  REGISTER HERE
Part 2:
General Assembly Preview
(Tues. Jan. 12th, 7:00 - 8:30 pm)
Join us to take a deep look at the basics of education funding, Virginia PTA's legislative priorities and the staffing and equity funding recommended by the Virginia Board of Education. We'll also talk about how the General Assembly works, how to follow the action, contact your legislators, and amplify our priorities. REGISTER HERE
Part 3:
Testing: Measuring Student Growth and School Success
(Thurs. January 21st, 7:00 - 8:00pm)
Join the Virginia Department of Education and Virginia PTA for this special webinar that will help parents understand state and federal testing requirements, the indicators used to accredit schools and what to expect if your school doesn't meet the standards. We will also explore the impact of COVID -19 on school accreditation and changes the Virginia Board of Education is considering as part of the standard revision process.  
VDOE Presenters:  Shelley Loving-Ryder, Assistant Superintendent, Department of Student Assessment, Accountability, and ESEA & Julie Molique, Director, Office of Accountability
Part 4:
General Assembly Wrap-Up and Bringing Advocacy Home
(Thurs. Feb 25th, 7:00 - 8:00pm)
Join us to get an update on what happened in this General Assembly Session, how you can maintain a relationship with your legislator and ways that you can bring new legislation and ideas back to your community to enact change through your local school board.
Share Your Story. Ask your legislator to fundraise for your school!
Register to participate in a town hall style discussion with your state delegate and senator.

Dates and times will be based on legislator availability between January 18th and February 5th.

These will be an open conversations to amplify our Virginia PTA priorities, share your personal stories and the challenges or opportunities your school faces to help your legislator #TakeAction4Kids

Your District Advocacy Chair will contact registered attendees in mid January with detailed information about how to participate in the meetings with your legislator. If you live in an area without a District Director, then a member of the Virginia PTA Advocacy Committee will schedule meetings with your representatives and support your Constituent Connection meeting. 
Raise the bar! Join the rally!
  • Post a picture or a 10 second video sharing a top priority for you or your school PTA.

  • Tag a PTA and two friends.

  • Tag your legislators.

  • Share a post!
Do you know of a situation or concern which affects children and youth and requires a statewide solution? 

Virginia PTA encourages you to elevate your research and your proposed action, opinion or needed solution by submitting a resolution for consideration by Virginia PTA's General Membership at our Annual Meeting on March 20th.  

January 11, 2020

Do you know someone who has made a significant positive impact for children or a school community through their advocacy efforts? 

Virginia PTA wants to shine a spotlight on their work and inspire others to take action for students.

FEBRUARY 11, 2020

Questions? Contact Jenna Alexander, Vice President of Advocacy (