New report on Virginia schools says achievement gaps persist

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A new report by the Virginia State Board of Education says there remains a persistent achievement gap for certain student groups and the state faces a growing shortage of high-quality teachers.

The report was officially presented to lawmakers and Gov. Ralph Northam on Sunday, and it calls for elected officials to rethink how schools are funded.

The report says the increasing reliance on local funds versus state money to pay for public schools is “inherently inequitable.” The report said Virginia is one of the wealthiest states in the country but has a “regressive” system deprives high-poverty school systems of adequate money.

The report also highlighted declines in reading proficiency by Virginia students on a national test compared to two years ago.

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