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.

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.

2020 Legislative Priority Positions

FUNDING

  • Support full funding of the SOQs 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.
  • Oppose any new unfunded mandates, and support a review and possible reversal of previous unfunded mandates that have been enacted since 2009 with limited or no additional funding.
  • Support changing the current methodology used for funding Governor’s schools to an SOQ funding model.

TEACHER AND STAFF SHORTAGE

  • Support increased state funding to address teacher shortages, low teacher salaries, high turnover rates, and decreasing enrollment in teacher preparatory programs.
  • Support state incentives such as scholarships or student internships to increase the number of teacher candidates, particularly minority candidates.
  • Support the removal of the SOQ Support Position Cap and a return to funding methodologies used prior to 2009.
  • Support the recommendations of the House School Safety Committee to increase funding for additional security personnel (SROs and School Security Officers), school counselors, psychologists, and other mental health professionals who work directly with students.

SCHOOL BOARD AUTHORITY

  • Oppose 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.
  • Oppose legislation that would impose mandates for local school boards regarding disciplinary action against students for specific actions or behaviors.

STUDENT ACCOUNTABILITY AND ACHIEVEMENT

  • Support the use of multiple, assessment tools beyond standardized tests, including those that reflect critical thinking and utilize a list of desired outcomes or criteria as measures of student academic progress and achievement.

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.

EVERY STUDENT SUCCEEDS ACT

  • Support the revisions set forth in the current ESSA guidelines, as long as no new mandates are passed along to localities without funding.

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.

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.

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 based on recommendations made by the 2018 House Select Committee on School Safety with increased funding for school security personnel (SROs, school security officers) and school mental health professionals (school counselors, psychologists, 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 the Committee on School Safety recommendations for Virginia including social media monitoring services, mobile push applications, and web-based anonymous tip applications.

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…………………….22,496
Middle……………………………12,003
High……………………………….15,355
Other………………………………….552
Total Students…………………50,406

Graduates

Total 2018 Graduates…………………….3,622
On-Time 2018 Graduation Rate….90.8%
Plans to Continue Education………80.8%
Scholarships Accepted…….$28 Million

Student Diversity

African American………………………..35.3%
Asian………………………………………….11.9%
Caucasian……………………………………37.1%
Hispanic……………………………………..10.7%
Other…………………………………………..5%
Economic Deprivation…………………..46%
Number of Languages Spoken …………..100

Average Class Size

Elementary…………………………………..19.5
Middle………………………………………….18.9
High……………………………………………..19.2

Employees

Total Teachers…………………………….4,083
Total Employees (FTE)………………..7,137

Finance 2018-19

Operating Budget……………………….$636.6 Million
Per Pupil Expenditure…………………$11,233
(Data as of November 2019)