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Basic Funding Program
Virginia uses a basic foundation aid program for
disbursement of the bulk of its state school support. It also
relies on several other categorical aid programs for support
Smaller aid programs support
of specific local current operating expenditures. Major categorical programs occur in the areas of special education, vocational education, and transportation. gifted and talented programs, superintendents salaries, and expenditures in districts which have above average spending levels. A small amount of "save-harmless" monies are also appropriated in the states basic aid program.
Local school districts are required to raise local revenues in support of the foundation program, set at $687 per pupil in 1974-75. Local districts also may raise additional unequalized local revenues above foundation program levels for regular day school programs.
They also may raise additional monies.
for local support of particular categorical programs.
The state received $41.9 million in P.L. 874 funds in 1974-75. The state does not count impact aid as part of its basic aid
Sources of Equalization
There are three types of equalizing school funds in Virginia. The first is that part of the state's basic aid program which supports local current expenditures in local school districts that cannot raise $687 per pupil from local resources. The second type of equalizing fund is the local revenue that is applied to the foundation program in the aforementioned districts.
most state categorical aid programs pay all or a high uniform share of selected program costs. These categorical aids, then, are classified as equalized in character.
Sources of Disequalization
There are also three types of disequalizing funds in the state's school support system. The first is "save-harmless" aid which amounted to $13.9 million budgeted for 1974-75.* This aid is provided so that no district will receive less basic aid than it did in the 1971-72 school year. The second type of disequalizing state aid occurs in the inventive payment program which simply pays districts that spend above state average expenditure levels five percent of such excess expenditures. This aid amounted to $6.0 million in 1974-75.
at the local level.
The final type of disequalizing monies occurs This money is raised locally for support of regular day programs above the $687 foundation level and for local enrichment of special categorical programs. These minies were approximately $330 million in 1974-75.
Comparative Equalization Standards
Virginia does not qualify as an equalizing school support state under either the fiscal disparity or the fiscal neutrality standard. Expenditure disparities between the 5th and 95th percentile districts were 67.3 percent in 1974-75.
these disparities were increased with the addition of P.L. 874 funds to 74.4 percent. This reflects the fact that P.L. 874 funds in Virginia flow to relatively high spending districts.
On the fiscal neutrality standard, it appears that about $332 million is raised in unequalized funds at the state and local
*$9.6 million was eventually appropriated for this purpose in 1974-75.
levels. $20 million of such money is raised at the state level and $312 million is raised at the local level. This constitutes over 30 percent of all state-local revenues used for current operating programs in the state of Virginia. Therefore, the considerable amount of local revenue raised outside the foundation program is the major factor in Virginia not being able to qualify under the neutrality standard.