Virginia has a duty to make sure that our schools are safe and supportive for all students. Across the nation, tragic gun violence in schools has brought increased focus to the resources needed to keep all students safe. To ensure school safety, Virginia must increase support staff, including counselors, nurses, social workers, and psychologists in all elementary and secondary schools; improve school policing accountability; invest in positive school discipline and school climate; and broaden the accessibility of supports and services for all children.
Protecting Childhood: A Blueprint for Developmentally Appropriate School Policing in Virginia (2016)
This Legal Aid Justice Center report describes the problems with school policing in Virginia and then provides recommendations for reforms. The appendices include tools for lawmakers and policymakers, such as a model Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that school divisions and law enforcement agencies can use to incorporate best practices.
Virginia’s Eroding Standards of Quality (2016)
This report from The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis sheds light on the support staff crisis in Virginia’s PreK-12 schools. Since 2009, Virginia has under-funded school support positions across the state by about $378 million annually. These positions include professional staff who help to care for the physical and mental health of students.