2018 PPI Score
School Choice Score: 60%
Virginia enacted the Education Improvement Scholarships Tax Credits Program in 2012 and launched the program in 2013. This program offers a 65 percent tax credit to individuals and businesses that donate to qualified Scholarship Foundations (SFs). The SFs then provide private school scholarships to students whose families meet the income requirements.
Charter Schools Score: 0%
Virginia earns an “F” in the most recent charter school law rankings. Charter schools in Virginia are dependent on local school boards for everything from authorization to granting exemptions from the regulations that generally apply to district schools. As a result of their dependence on districts, few school boards in Virginia will approve or support charters once they get off the ground.
- Law passed: 1998
- Number of charter schools: 8
- Estimated charter school enrollment: 1500 (25 percent increase from 2015-16)
- Virginia does not cap the number of charter schools that can be authorized
- Virtual schools are permitted (with district approval)
- Charter Schools can contract with EMOs and CMOs for management support (with district approval)
- Virginia earns 0 of 15 points for “authorizing.” In Virginia, school districts have total control over all authorizing decisions for charter schools. While there is no formal appeals process involving an independent body, a charter can petition its authorizing district to reconsider unfavorable renewal decisions. Unfair regulations and processes such as these have resulted in limited autonomy for charters and negligible growth in the state’s charter sector.
- Virginia earns 11 of 15 points for “growth.” Virginia does not cap the number of charter schools that can be authorized, which earns it comparatively high points in this category. However,
the very slow growth of the state’s charter sector is evidence that the heavy regulatory charter environment in the state provides little incentives for operators to establish schools.
- Virginia earns 3 of 20 points for “operations.” Charter schools in Virginia rely upon districts to exempt them from rules and regulations that typically apply to schools. This includes collective bargaining agreements and traditional teacher certification requirements. This is a charter law in name only. Charters require autonomy to be innovative, successful, and different from their district counterparts.
- Virginia earns 0 of 15 points for “funding equity.” District authorizers decide upon funding levels and then pass funding on to charter schools. With such discretion over funding, districts directly control charter school budgets and operations. Virginia provides no per-pupil facilities funding to charters.
Teacher Quality Score: 78%
Delivering Well Prepared Teachers C
Expanding the Pool of Teachers D-
Identifying Effective Teachers D+
Retaining Effective Teachers C
Exiting Ineffective Teachers C
Overall State Grade C+