This Washington Post article ("Education Is Va. Lawmakers' Sticking Point ," 4/4/04)concludes that funding for public school education is the main remaining difference between the Senate and House budget thinking. The article cites Professor A.E. "Dick" Howard on the issue of whether the state is required to pay its share under the state constitution: "There is an implicit mandate to fund those standards, once they are set," said A.E. Dick Howard, a professor of law at the University of Virginia and chief architect of the state's revised constitution in 1970. "But it does stop short of a judicial mandate . . . it's more of a moral obligation."
In the Fredericksburg paper, the county school superintendent offers this explanation ("Virginia lawmakers routinely underfund public school systems," 4/4/04) of the effect of underfunding from the state on education in Stafford County.
Elsewhere, the Richmond Times includes this review of The War Against Excellence: The Rising Tide of Mediocrity in America's Middle Schools, a book by a former Virginia education official on the subject of why middle schools are a bad thing.