The great aim of education is not knowledge, but action, Herbert Spencer, a British Philosopher once wrote. Today, I am urging you to take action to help the education system in Virginia be as strong as it can possibly be. You can make a difference in the future of our children and in the welfare of our communities for the future.
I am well aware that all states and localities across the nation have had to deal with significant reductions in revenue over the past several years and also that K-12 education is not the only government service that has seen a reduction in funding. Recognizing these facts, our superintendent, school board members, teachers and administrators have worked hard to minimize the negative impact of budget cuts on the students in the classroom. However, we are now stretched to our limits and have to have monies from the government to continue to educate our children.
With the Governors recent announcement of $152 million in additional state revenue, Virginias educators were surprised to learn that the Governor proposed cutting funds for K-12 education and were shocked that members of the House of Delegates cut even more. As a matter of fact, $34 million has been cut for resource teachers in sixth and seventh grades and $14.5 million dollars have been cut for Pre-K programs. Over $49 million dollars in teaching positions have been cut! We cannot let this trend continue!
I call you to action. Take action for our public education system. How? By contacting your local legislators and letting them know that you do not want any more cuts in education spending. The time to do this is NOW. Your voice countsnot just for you but also for thousands of children who are our future. Speak out for them. If you are not sure who your legislators are or how to contact them, go to the website http://legis.state.va.us/ and go to Whos My Legislator and their information will be made available to you. Or, look in your local phone book under the Government section, which lists your legislators and call them directly.
Make your voice heard. Today. Our children deserve it.
Chairman, Southwest Region
Virginia School Boards Association Board of Directors