By: Bill Bosher
With the Virginia General Assembly at "crossover"…when the House and Senate exchange bills…educational questions focus primarily around the accountability system…SOL's…and money.
The CEPI/Wilder School/VCU statewide education poll has for eleven years asked Virginians if they thought that schools had enough resources. Each year more than two thirds said "no".
When asked about government priorities, they place K12 at the top and prisons at the bottom…mental health and aid to low income families also fall above 60%.
The tough question for those who said that they would pay higher taxes is "which tax would you pay"? Each year the plurality is the same…sales tax. While a sales tax has regressive characteristics…it has the greatest impact upon those who can least afford it…the benefit seems to help those who need it the most. Eliminating it from food and drugs can mitigate the regressive impact of a sales tax.
The next choice for funding schools is income tax. The irony is that both of these are controlled by the state. Real and personal property, both local taxing structures, come near the bottom of the list.
With 70% of the homes without school-age children, the annual CEPI Poll confirms Virginians are proud of both their public and private options. They like neighborhood schools; they just don't like neighborhood taxes!