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Abstract

Four Senators and four Delegates conferred for the purpose of developing the public education portion of the state budget for the second year of this biennium. These Senators and Delegates met knowing full and well that Virginia ranked thirty-seventh in the nation in per pupil state support for public education in 2008. They also met with the knowledge that there was a $3.7 billion state revenue shortfall. Going into this session, education advocates perceived there to be two battles-the first battle would attempt to minimize budget cuts, while the second battle would attempt to keep the cuts from being permanent. Fortunately, the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act ("ARRA") effectively minimized the potential cuts. As a result of the appropriation of ARRA funds, the policy-driven cuts introduced by the Governor's amendments were reduced from $375 million to $9.8 million by replacing the state cuts with federal funding.