Senate to take up bill requiring Virginia schools to spend unused relief funds

An October report from the Virginia Department of Education shows Fairfax County Public Schools...
An October report from the Virginia Department of Education shows Fairfax County Public Schools have the most unspent relief funds, representing more than $170 million.(Jena Ardell | Getty Images)
Published: Feb. 13, 2023 at 9:07 AM EST
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Legislation backed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin that would require Virginia school divisions to spend any federal pandemic funds they haven’t yet used or forfeit them is headed to the Senate for consideration.

An October report from the Virginia Department of Education shows Fairfax County Public Schools have the most unspent relief funds, representing more than $170 million. Norfolk schools have the next highest amount at $136 million, followed by Henrico at $116 million, Richmond City at $111 million and Newport News at $93 million.

How big a percentage of the divisions’ operating budgets those unspent funds represent varies. Fairfax, for example, has a current operating budget of $3.3 billion, while the Norfolk schools budget is $376 million.

The legislation, which passed the House on a 52-48 vote, followed comments by Youngkin this October urging school divisions to spend their remaining funds to address achievement gaps and proficiency declines among Virginia students.

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NBC12 is a partner with The Virginia Mercury, an independent, nonprofit online news...
NBC12 is a partner with The Virginia Mercury, an independent, nonprofit online news organization covering state government and policy.(Virginia Mercury)