Senate Democratic Caucus Releases Statement on Local School Divisions Short $201 Million in Aid Because of Youngkin Administration Error

January 31, 2023

Richmond, VA – Today Senate Democrats released the following statements on the news that Virginia’s public schools will be short $201 million in aid because of a calculating error by Governor Youngkin’s Department of Education.

“Now more than ever, Senate Democrats will continue to work to ensure Virginia’s school localities get the funding they need and that our children are able to receive a world-class education,” Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw. “Redirecting funds away and underfunding public education is unacceptable. During the next few weeks at the budget talks, Senate Democrats will be fighting for our children and their future.”

“Our public schools are the key to success for our children’s future, and this error jeopardizes that,” said Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Senator Mamie Locke. “Senate Democrats will work to fix Governor Youngkin’s error and ensure that every Virginia child will receive a world class education – no matter where they live, their background, or their ability.” 

“Governor Youngkin’s administrations’ incompetence is on full display today,” said Senator Scott Surovell. “Rather than spending his time running for President, Governor Youngkin needs to spend his time running his administration. This egregious error miscalculating over 200 million dollars for our public schools will have lasting effects on Virginia’s children. One thing is clear, this is no time to cut taxes for the wealthy and corporations, instead we must fully fund our public schools.”

“This is simply outrageous,” said Senator Ghazala Hashmi. “The ‘hold harmless provision’ was an essential part of eliminating the grocery tax that would provide localities their share for school funding; and now because of an error, Virginia’s public schools, rural and urban, are $201 in the hole – not to mention the news comes as a surprise to the General Assembly and to local leaders.”

“First we need to know why it took so long to inform the General Assembly of this error,” said Senator Jeremey McPIke.This is a serious error that will have ripple effects across our public schools. Senate Democrats have been working to address our local schools divisions outdated infrastructure, lack of resources and funding. Now with the news that our schools are $201 million short, ensuring our schools get the funds they need has never been more important.”