How Virginia can ensure school districts are funded equitably

EDUCATION | According to a recent National Center for Education Statistics report, Virginia and Maryland are among six states where the wealthiest school districts receive more funding per student than the poorest districts. The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis has released a blog post on how Virginia can better fund schools with a high poverty population. (TCI, 8/28)

Virginia does target some extra state support to schools with high percentages of low-income students through its At-Risk Add-On program, which provides between 1-13 percent more in basic aid per student eligible for free lunch. But given the funding gap that this new national report reveals, this approach is clearly not sufficient to make up for the difference between high-poverty and low-poverty school divisions.

Rather than relying so heavily on student enrollment to allocate state funding to school divisions, Virginia should follow the lead of other states that use need-based allocations. This model would use weights to adjust per student funding based on economic status, English language proficiency, or student disability. Most states take this approach to more equitably distribute education funding to divisions.

RACIAL EQUITY | Tamara Lucas Copeland, WRAG’s president, and Yanique Redwood, chair of WRAG’s Board of Directors, provide an update on how WRAG plans to make an organizational commitment to racial equity. (Daily, 9/5)

PHILANTHROPY | A philanthropic advisor discusses how foundations can encourage staff to take more risks. (NCRP, 8/23)

HOUSING | It’s Time to Rewrite Fair Lending Rules. (Just Not Like This.) (Citylab, 8/31)

– DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has announced that the city will give a one-time grant to a downtown church to operate a daytime service center for homeless residents. (Street Sense Media, 9/5)

– New D.C. General replacement shelter to début in Northwest this month (Curbed, 9/4)

NONPROFITS | In a new blog, nonprofit leader Vu Le asks progressive activists to stop weaponizing social justice terminology and concepts against each other. (NAF, 9/4)

LGBTQIA RIGHTSBusinesses in Virginia increasingly are showing support to LGBTQ communities not just to attract them as customers (Richmond Times, 9/2)

Congratulations to the Mystics for going to the WNBA Finals for the first time!

– Kendra