General Assembly Still Working Out Funding Details For Virginia Preschool Initative
Both the House and Senate budgets include funding for classroom observations for the Virginia Preschool Initiative, or VPI.
But Chris Duncombe with the Commonwealth Institute says the Senate budget includes an additional $9 million to increase the state’s per-pupil reimbursement, “So the primary challenge is not attracting the students, it’s paying for the provision of care or finding the space.”
Emily Griffey with Voices for Virginia’s Children says many localities have a waiting list for VPI because they aren’t able to pay for their share of the match. She says increasing state funding could help incentivize those localities to pay for more program seats, “And we’re seeing in general since the recession more families that are living below 200% of poverty in the economically disadvantaged bracket that could really benefit from attending a high-quality preschool program.”
The additional funding could help pay for anything from teachers and aids to curriculum and staff development.