by James C. Sherlock
Recommendations. Where to begin?
First things first. Day one, as Governor-elect Youngkin likes to say…
Stop the continued expansion of Virtual Virginia. We know hardly anything about it, and what we do know is not encouraging.
- We don’t have Virtual Virginia kids’ SOL scores;
- We do have parental survey data that have been less than enthusiastic about Virtual Virginia;
- We don’t have demographic data for either its student body or its teachers; and
- We don’t know its full financial costs.
Additional expansion is out of the question until we can fully define those parameters.
To stop the additional expansion, eliminate the line item in the Executive Budget that allows further expansion of Virtual Virginia from fees paid by the school divisions.
That will freeze the Virtual Virginia student population and its staffing at current levels until we get a handle on it. It will also leave up to $59 million in schools’ budgets over the next two years that they will not have to send to VDOE.
Crucially, it will also give time to make the more fundamental changes recommended below. Continue reading