Resolution Is Approved

Published 3:09 pm Tuesday, November 15, 2011

PRINCE EDWARD – With little discussion, County school board members approved a resolution last week that-with Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial Commission and General Assembly support-could bring funds the state did not spend on education when schools were closed from 1959-64.

The resolution is expected to be forwarded to State Senator Henry Marsh and Delegate James Edmunds.

The $11.75 million, proposed to be used for specific educational projects or programs chosen by the Prince Edward community, would serve as a supplement to regular state and local educational funding as envisioned.

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The endowment proposal, made by a member of the public at the King Commission's October 2 meeting, is expected to be addressed at the Commission's December meeting and could lead to funding legislation in the coming General Assembly session.

The school board-approved resolution specifically, reads:

Whereas state funding of the public schools of Prince Edward County was withheld during the period of Massive Resistance from 1959 to 1964,

Whereas the pubic schools of Prince Edward County were closed during this period and funding for public education was not allocated as it was in other Virginia localities for the five year period,

Whereas many of the county's children were denied an opportunity to receive a public education and thus were negatively impacted which consequently not only affected their lives but in many instances the lives of their children and grandchildren,

Now therefore be it resolved that the Prince Edward County School Board respectfully requests the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial commission and State legislators to support the proposal for compensatory allocation of funds not previously appropriated for the specific purpose of creating an educational endowment to reduce the generational impact caused by the closing of the public schools.

The state funded $369,000 for public education in Prince Edward in the 1958-59 school year but, in the five following years, during Massive Resistance and school closures in Prince Edward, state funding for Prince Edward's public schools stayed in Richmond.

It has been projected that the $369,000 in today's dollars would be $2.3 million. Factored annually over five years, it would total $11.75 million.

Monies, through specific educational efforts, would address a generational impact of Massive Resistance in the county.