Legislative Goals of Henrico County Public Schools

Academic Achievement

We support efforts to maintain strong K-12 academic standards while providing a variety of means for achieving those standards.

Equity and Diversity

We support equity, diversity and inclusion for all students and staff in HCPS schools, fostering a sense of belonging for students, increasing family engagement, and improving academic and behavioral outcomes for all students.

Funding

We support full funding for all current state- and federally mandated programs (SOLs, SOQs and ESSA), full funding for any new federally or state-mandated guidelines or programs, and for rebenchmarking, based on prevailing educational practices occurring in our school divisions to achieve these standards.

Highly Qualified Staff

We support funding instructional positions at an acceptable level in order to remain competitive nationwide and to attract and retain the most highly qualified teachers and student support staff.

Local Autonomy

We support the preservation of local control over education matters that are best governed at the local level as set forth in Article VIII, section 7 of our State Constitution.

Pupil-Teacher Ratio (PTR)

We support continued legislative efforts to recognize the impact of low pupil-teacher ratios on student achievement, particularly in grades K-3.

Safe Schools

We support legislation that provides for school security equipment, software and personnel, including support staff, to ensure a school climate that addresses the mental health and social/emotional needs of individual students.

Student Behavior

We support legislation that provides a safe school environment for all staff and students by building strong relationships with families and community partners, resulting in strong school disciplinary measures and high expectations of student conduct.

Technology

We support current legislation for funding technology implementation in all K-12 classrooms that will provide fair and equitable access to information for all students and will reflect current practices leading to school safety.

Life-Ready Skills

We support federal and state efforts to ensure that all students are empowered with the knowledge, skills, attributes and experiences to be life-ready.

2021 Legislative Priority Positions

FUNDING

  • HCPS supports adopting a budget that will pause any reductions in state payments resulting from a loss of ADM until after the final March 31 ADM calculation.
  • HCPS supports a commitment to the restoration of unfunded 2020 legislation that was passed but was unable to be enacted due to lack of funds; i.e. teacher raises, additional student support positions, and EL instructional staff.
  • HCPS supports full funding of the SOQ’s and rebenchmarking based on prevailing educational practices occurring in school divisions. Partial state funding of these education requirements has resulted in a disproportionate financial burden on localities to make up the difference.
  • HCPS opposes any new unfunded mandates and supports a review and possible reversal of previously unfunded mandates that have been enacted since 2009 with limited or no additional funding.
  • HCPS supports phasing in a SOQ funding model for the Governor’s schools that reflects language adopted in the 2016-18 Appropriation Act to address the instability of their current funding.

TEACHER AND STAFF SHORTAGE

  • HCPS supports a phased in approach to increased state funding to address teacher shortages, low teacher salaries, high turnover rates, ethnic diversity, and decreasing enrollment in teacher preparatory programs.
  • HCPS supports the removal of the SOQ Support Position Cap and a return to funding methodologies used prior to 2009 to more fully fund those support personnel such as school counselors, school psychologists, and other mental health professionals who directly impact the social and emotional health of students.

SCHOOL BOARD AUTHORITY

  • HCPS opposes legislation that would remove or limit local school board authority over any established schools within their division, and over the formation and operation of charter schools within their division.
  • HCPS opposes legislation that would impose mandates for elected local school boards regarding disciplinary action against students for specific actions or behaviors.

Continuing Positions

CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION

  • Support career & technical education as a significant program choice for all students, and continue efforts to collaborate and partner with businesses in remaining current with industry and technical practices.

EQUITY AND DIVERSITY

  • HCPS supports student accountability measures using multiple learning dimensions to capture the breadth of student diversity.
  • HCPS supports increased staffing to achieve equity by responding to student social and emotional needs with additional school counselors, school psychologists, school social workers, and/or school behavioral specialists.

FUNDING

  • Support recent legislative efforts to protect K-12 funding for the state, while acknowledging Henrico’s significant local effort that far exceeds state requirements.
  • Support legislation designed to maintain support for teacher salaries at a level that is competitive with the national job market and is, at a minimum, equal to the national average.
  • Supports legislation that allows the flexible use of Lottery Proceed Funds for K-12 education and eliminates or reduces the local match required to access these funds.

GOVERNANCE AND SCHOOL CHOICE

  • Oppose any additional legislation that establishes tuition tax credits, tax deductions, or vouchers as a means of reimbursing parents for their children’s K-12 educational expenses.
  • Support the concept of charter schools if they help Henrico students to increase academic achievement or they serve the unique needs of particular student populations more effectively than other local programs or schools.

INSTRUCTIONAL PERSONNEL

  • Support budget changes that will increase teacher salaries, provide incentives for the retention of highly qualified teachers, and expand funding of the Virginia Teaching Scholarship Loan Program.

  • Support recommendations of the Secretary of Education’s Advisory Committee on Teacher Shortages regarding funding for teacher recruitment and retention through financially accessible pathways into the profession, education about federal loan forgiveness programs, a competitive Commonwealth Teaching Fellows Program, and differentiated compensation or retention bonuses.

  • Supports state efforts to recruit and retain more teachers who more closely represent the ethnic diversity of our students.

ENGLISH LEARNER (EL)

  • Support adequate state funding for appropriate instructional programs, services, and staffing designed to meet the needs of English Learner (EL) students.

NON-PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS PLAYING SPORTS

  • Oppose legislation that would require local school boards to allow non-public school students to try out for interscholastic activities, including but not limited to sports.

PRE-KINDERGARTEN EDUCATION

  • Support continued legislative efforts to expand pre-K education for all at-risk students.
  • Support the elimination of the required local match for VPI funding to allow school divisions to expand preschool opportunities without negatively impacting funding for other programs and services.

STUDENT ACCOUNTABILITY AND ACHIEVEMENT

  • Support continuing efforts to move student achievement from competence to excellence.
  • Support multiple assessments as measures of student academic progress and achievement, including expedited retakes of the SOL tests for all students and alternate measures of student growth.

STUDENT WELLNESS AND FITNESS

  • Support efforts to create schools that are safe places for students and staff with increased funding for school mental health professionals (school counselors, psychologists, and social workers).

  • Support a statewide climate survey for staff and students.

  • Support efforts to establish cooperative agreements between local school boards and the Department of Social Services and Community Services Board to provide mental health and community-based services for students who need such services.

TECHNOLOGY

  • Support the continued funding of instructional technology that includes infrastructure components, maintenance software, supplies, and connectivity costs.

  • Support the expansion of virtual learning opportunities for students.

  • Support legislation that provides funding for technology tools that can be used to ensure student and staff safety.

TRANSPORTATION

  • Support measures that foster safe transportation for pupils, as well as the efficient operation of school division transportation systems.

Just the Facts

Schools & Centers

Elementary……………………………………………….46
Middle………………………………………………………12
High…………………………………………………………9
Advanced Career Education (ACE) Centers….2
Alternative Program Centers……………………….3
Total Schools and Centers……………………………72

Students

Elementary…………………….21,149
Middle……………………………11,725
High……………………………….15,579
Other………………………………….529
Total Students…………………48,982

Graduates

Total 2019 Graduates…………………….3,679
On-Time 2019 Graduation Rate….91%
Plans to Continue Education………74.1%
Scholarships Accepted…….$17.8Million
(Internal estimate. Many scholarships were not reported due to the COVID-19 closure.)

Student Diversity

African American………………………..35.6%
Asian………………………………………….12.6%
Caucasian……………………………………35.4%
Hispanic……………………………………..11%
Other…………………………………………..5.3%
Economic Deprivation…………………..45.3%
Number of Languages Spoken …………..100

Average Class Size

Elementary…………………………………..18.7
Middle………………………………………….18.3
High……………………………………………..19.5

Employees

Total Teachers…………………………….4,082
Total Employees (FTE)………………..7,160

Finance 2018-19

Operating Budget……………………….$646.7 Million
Per Pupil Expenditure…………………$11,074
(Data as of November 2020)