Reid Goldstein

Reid Goldstein

School Board Member, Arlington County, VA

Reid Goldstein serves as a member of the School Board in Arlington County. Mr. Goldstein is an active advocate and volunteer in his neighborhood and has served on the Arlington Public Schools Advisory Council on Instruction, the Superintendent’s Strategic Planning Committee, and on the Arlington Civic Federation Schools Committee. Mr. Goldstein is also a Board member of the Arlington County Affordable Housing Task Force and President of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization Board of Directors. Mr. Goldstein holds a B.A. in Political Science from the State University of New York and a M.A. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University.

Budgeting for Equity in Arlington, Virginia

Arlington School Board Chair Reid Goldstein aligns budget to match student needs

In the 2018-2019 school year, students in Arlington, Virginia outpaced their peers statewide on state tests—their passing rate in reading, writing, math, and science was well above the state average. Reid Goldstein, chair of the board of Arlington Public Schools, was proud of this. But he also knew that success wasn’t evenly distributed across students or schools. He became an E Pluribus Unum Fellow to address the intersection of racial and educational inequity in his district.

While around 95% of white students passed state tests in math that year, for example, just over 75% of Black and Hispanic students did. And though the overall passing rate in math was nearly 90%, just around 75% percent of economically disadvantaged students passed. Around 60% of both students learning English and students with disabilities passed.

Goldstein knew that lower test scores didn’t reflect different levels of potential. They represented different opportunities and resources. Goldstein saw that scores were split across the county, with scores in the generally white and affluent North Arlington being higher than those in South Arlington where there were more newly arrived, lower-income, and multicultural households.

Goldstein also knew that South Arlington schools also had far higher numbers of students with disabilities, students learning English, and students who were economically disadvantaged. These students often needed more resources—like additional educators, aides, materials, supports, or technologies. Goldstein wanted to ensure schools had the funding to provide those resources. He proposed changing the district’s funding structure to allocate money to schools based on the needs of their students. Schools who had more students with disabilities, students learning English, and students who were economically disadvantaged would get more funds.  

Because Black and Latinx families in Arlington make, on average, a lower income than White families, and Black and Latinx students are more likely to be learning English than white students, Goldstein’s shift would pursue racial equity, too. 

“With a heads-up approach to equity, we can use our resources to make positive change,” Goldstein explains. “I call it budgeting for equity.”

With E Pluribus Unum’s funding support, the district contracted with a technology company that helps K-12 schools equitably evaluate, budget and manage their finances. They have biweekly meetings with the district’s chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer to analyze financial data, examine resource allocation, and create an “equity analysis” for Arlington Public Schools. When they’ve completed that analysis, they’ll begin the process of adjusting the funding formula. 

“If we can help these students, not just in terms of scholastic achievement, but by supporting the whole child—that can transform their educational futures and change their lives,” he says.


Arlington Public Schools, 2019 SOL Pass Rates By Subject Area

Arlignton, VA, Race and Ethnicity Dashboard

Arlington Public Schools, Equity Profile, Student Demographics