- Report Published -
|State Spending on the Standards of Quality (SOQ): FY 2011|
|Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission|
|§ 22.1-97 (A.)|
|The Code of Virginia directs JLARC to report annually on the funding the State provides to each locality for an educational program that meets the Standards of Quality (SOQ). The SOQ includes minimum resource requirements for Virginia's elementary and secondary schools. The costs to fund the SOQ are shared between the State and local governments.|
The State's share of SOQ funding was about $4.75 billion in FY 2011. This amount equated to approximately $3,933 in State funds, on average, per pupil. Two accounts comprised more than 80 percent of this funding: basic aid and State sales tax. Basic aid, which localities use to provide a basic education program, was the largest account at $2.75 billion, or 57.8 percent of the total.
The composite index, which is a measure of local ability to pay, has a major impact on how much State funding each school division receives through the SOQ formula. In FY 2011, the per-pupil funding that localities received varied widely. For example, Lee County, with a low local ability to pay, received $6,573 in State SOQ funds per pupil. In contrast, Alexandria, with a high local ability to pay, received $2,053 per pupil in State SOQ funds.