Virginia schools understaffed, report says

Virginia schools understaffed, report says

(WWBT) - Virginia schools are understaffed in resource positions, a report by the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis said.

Positions such as nurses, social workers, counselors and psychologists are below recommended levels, according to the report.

Staffing decreases and an increase in student populations are to blame, leading to less time for student support and increased administrative duties for existing staff.

The full report can be read here.

Since 2008, student enrollment in Virginia public schools has increased by 57,000 while school staff has decreased by more than 2,300 over the same time frame.

Caseloads for schools counselors have increased nearly 30 percent from 300 students to 385 between 2007 and 2016.

In 2017, the Virginia Board of Education recommended a caseload of 250 students per counselor, one nurse for every 550 students and a psychologist and social worker for every 1,000 students. The report recommends lawmakers adopt Board of Education proposals and amend Virginia's Standards of Quality.

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