Action Alert: Improve Funding for At-Risk Students
Our state representatives are discussing amendments to the state’s next two-year budget that would improve targeted aid to K-12 schools through Virginia’s At-Risk Add-On program. The proposed amendments bolster funding for services like counseling and dropout prevention, after-school programs, and specialized instruction and also give schools the flexibility to use these funds to recruit and retain teachers in their hardest-to-staff schools. Low-income students need additional resources to succeed, and the General Assembly has found that targeted at-risk programs can improve academic performance and narrow the achievement gap for students of color.
Take these three steps to tell Virginia lawmakers that you support investing in at-risk students and improving Virginia’s At-Risk Add-On program.
- Click here to find your state Delegate and Senator.
- Call their offices and urge them to include improvements to Virginia’s At-Risk Add-On in the state budget. (Suggested phone script below)
- Share this link with your network to support Virginia’s children!
My name is [First and Last], and I live in [City/Town/County]. I’m calling to voice my support for improving Virginia’s At-Risk Add-On program in the state’s budget.
Low-income students need additional resources to succeed in school, and targeted at-risk funding can help improve academic performance and prevent dropouts. The flexibility to use these funds to recruit and retain teachers can also help Virginia reduce its teacher shortage.
I urge Delegate/Senator [Last Name] to support an increase in At-Risk Add-On funding and to give school divisions the flexibility to target At-Risk Add-On funds to hard-to-staff schools.
These changes will help improve services and supports for economically disadvantaged students while giving schools more opportunity to recruit and keep the best and brightest in the teaching profession.
About the Alliance for Virginia’s Students
The Alliance is committed to encouraging all Virginians to demand high quality educational opportunities for every child in the Commonwealth.
The Alliance for Virginia’s Students was created in 2003 to build a statewide, grassroots advocacy network that promotes state policies and financial support that are necessary for excellence in public education from pre-kindergarten through graduate studies. Today, we have over 7,000 individual supporters across the Commonwealth.
Over the years, the Alliance has won increased state support for public education and protected funding for programs serving at-risk students. Our most significant accomplishments include:
• In 2013, the Alliance helped pass a legislative study of the adequacy/equity of school funding statewide.
• In 2012, the Alliance submitted a statement to the Board of Education calling for a legislative study of the adequacy and equity of school funding. The statement was endorsed by ten statewide organizations and over 1,220 individuals, hundreds of whom submitted personalized comments. The Board recommended the study and, thanks to the work of the Alliance’s partners, the study was approved by the General Assembly.
• In 2010, the Alliance and its partners successfully defended programs serving at-risk students from proposals that would have redistributed funds to school divisions based on student population rather than student poverty.
• In 2006 and 2008, the Alliance helped lead a broad-based coalition to secure additional funding for the expansion of the Virginia Preschool Initiative, which serves thousands of at-risk four-year-olds across the Commonwealth. In recent years, we have successfully defended the preschool program from proposed cuts.
The strength of the Alliance depends on the collective voices of its individual members and the partnership of its organizational members, which are listed below.