NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Only two out of eight local legislators showed up to the Norfolk School Board's presentation Tuesday morning, addressing additional funding and longer school days.
Delegate Algie Howell was there for the majority of the meeting while Senator Kenneth Alexander showed up late, with only about 10 minutes remaining in the meeting.
This comes not long after a Norfolk school was denied accreditation for the third year in a row. In total, 14 schools in the Norfolk system are not fully accredited.
The school system says the reason is due to a low passing rate in mathematics.
Superintendent Dr. Samuel King spoke about filling gaps, pointing out that 67 percent of students in Norfolk schools are classified as economically challenged and come into school lagging.
King said students also need more time to learn and proposes starting school before Labor Day.
During the breakfast, the board asked legislators to support the following:
- Increase funding to address true costs of the SOQ (Standards of Quality)
- Restore funding reductions
- End funding public education by supplanting the General Fund with proceeds from the lottery
- Give districts total control especially when it comes to the school calendar
- Funds for programs to help students prepare for graduation, college and career readiness
- Phase-in the Board of Education's unfunded SOQ revisions
- Recommend that regular reviews are made to make sure SOQ funding is realistic
The board asked legislators to oppose the following:
- Add mandated programs without providing for the state's share of funding
- Diverting money to fund transportation
- Shifting SOQ into lottery-funded accounts
- Allowing part-time or home schooled students the ability to participate in Virginia High School League activities
- Increasing efforts for virtual education without a fiscal impact study
- Amending the charter school law. "Current law is sufficient for school boards to voluntarily develop or expand charter schools."
- Instituting vouchers or tuition tax credits
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