Media Advisory for:
Thursday, August 11
Virginia Organizing “Surplus Smurplus” School Supply Drive and Demonstration
Locals Residents Gather to Call on the Governor and General Assembly to Stop “Kicking the Can Down the Road”
and Raise Revenue to Fund Education
STAUNTON– On Thursday, August 11 at 6:30 p.m., members of the Staunton Chapter of Virginia Organizing(formerly Virginia Organizing Project), will gather to take a stand against cuts to education and to call on the Virginia General Assembly to raise the revenue it needs for vital public services.
Just one week away from the start of another school year, local residents will gather at Gypsy Hill Park to speak out on the need to fund education and to collect school supplies to donate to local students and teachers. The group will call attention to Virginia’s budget surplus, which event organizers say, “only exists because of creative accounting and a cuts-only approach that merely kicks the can down the road.”
Parents and teachers will gather Thursday to call attention to previous cuts to education funding in excess of 15 percent which has meant crowded classrooms, outdated textbooks, and reduced student achievement. The state closed last year’s $6.2 billion shortfall almost entirely with cuts and help from the federal government. Only 2 percent of last year’s deficit was made up through new revenue. The state budget has been cut dramatically every year for several years, as state revenue has fallen by more than 10 percent. Only new revenue can close our budget gap without more significant cuts.
“We are gathering Thursday because while the governor boasts about his surplus, Virginia is in the midst of an enormous fiscal crisis, in part due to irresponsible decision making by our state leaders. We shouldn’t have to donate school supplies to bridge the funding gap. Our state leaders should be raising revenue to fund education, instead of considering even more deep cuts that will hurt our quality of life and prevent us from investing in our future,” said Connie Birch, Staunton Virginia Organizing Chapter member.
WHAT:“Surplus Smurplus” School Supply Drive and Rally for Revenue
WHO: Virginia Organizing
WHEN: Thursday, August 11, 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Gypsy Hill Park Bandstand, Staunton
Virginia Organizing is part of Better Choices for Virginia, a coalition of business leaders, non-profit leaders and educators focused on a balanced approach to the state budget that includes revenue, rather than a cuts-only approach that hurts families and threatens economic recovery.
Virginia Organizing is a statewide grassroots organization that brings people together to create a more just Virginia.