The study was the result of two General Assembly mandates directing JLARC to “study the efficiency and effectiveness of elementary and secondary school spending in Virginia” and to examine the impacts of virtual instruction in the Commonwealth.
In its review, JLARC found that:
- Virginia spends about the national average on K-12 education, but is above average in local funding and student achievement.
- School divisions spend less to educate each student than a decade ago.
- Nearly all school divisions reduced instructional spending, but also report being less effective.
- Virtual learning is a small but growing aspect of K-12 education.
Specific information about localities is also included:
Changes in cost per pupil (CPP) by school divisions (adjusted for inflation) in Northern Virginia
|Division||FY05||FY09||FY14||% Change (05-14)||% Change (09-14)|
*Loudoun’s CPP decreased the most from FY09 to FY14 from $14,891 to $12,556 or a drop of 15.68 percent.
School Divisions with Highest Median Salaries 2014
The study included information about the salaries of classroom teachers in Virginia. Salaries and benefits for staff account for approximately three-fourths of total K-12 spending. Teacher salaries can influence teacher quality and turnover.
Differences in teachers’ salaries across Virginia are strongly related to the cost of living. Eight of the 10 divisions with the highest median teacher salary are in Northern Virginia. Loudoun ranks seventh of 10 in the chart below.
|Rank||Division||Median Salary||# of Full-time Teachers||Labor Market Area|
|3||Falls Church City||$61,088||160||Washington D.C.|
|5||Manassas City||$58,562||496||Washington D.C.|
|6||Prince William||$57,178||4,347||Washington D.C.|
|8||Manassas Park City||$55,597||201||Washington D.C.|
|9||Chesapeake City||$52,988||2,318||VA Beach/Norfolk/Newport News|
|10||Isle of Wight County||$52,961||302||VA Beach/Norfolk/Newport News|
After adjusting for the cost-of-living changes, only four of the eight Northern Virginia divisions with the highest median salaries retain their position among the school divisions with the highest salaries. Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church and Fairfax remain in the top 10. The other Northern Virginia divisions are replaced by Albemarle, Charlottesville and other divisions, due to lower costs of living but relatively high teacher salaries. Loudoun drops out of the top 10; suggesting its median salary is low relative to the cost of living.
|Rank||Division||Adjusted Salary||# of Full-time Teachers||Labor Market Area|
|4||Falls Church City||$71,064||160||Washington D.C.|
|7||Covington City||$66,722||64||Western Virginia|
|9||Isle of Wight County||$66,117||302||VA Beach/Norfolk/Newport News|
|10||Chesapeake City||$65,986||2,318||VA Beach/Norfolk/Newport News|
Students living in poverty FY2005-FY2014 (Northern Virginia)
Demographic changes in certain student populations also was provided. The percentage of students living in poverty defined as number of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch has increased by about 10 percent statewide during the period studied. Primary Northern Virginia school divisions are shown below.
|Division||Number of Students||Students Living in Poverty||Number of Students||Students Living in Poverty|
*The Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) percentage of students living in poverty grew by almost 7 percent. Among Northern Virginia divisions, LCPS has the lowest percentage at 17.4 percent.
LEP Students FY2005-FY2014 (Northern Virginia)
The percentage of students designated as having limited English proficiency (LEP) increased by about 10 percent statewide during the study period. Primary Northern Virginia school divisions’ changes are shown below.
|Division||Number of Students||LEP||Number of Students||LEP|
*The LCPS percentage of LEP students grew by almost 5 percent. Among Northern Virginia divisions, LCPS has the lowest percentage at 10.9 percent.
The full JLARC report can be found at http://jlarc.virginia.gov/pdfs/reports/Rpt472.pdf