A storm passes over the Capitol. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury - Sept. 11, 2018)

$880 million pitch to General Assembly aims to match students and careers

BY: - October 15, 2021

A group of business and higher education leaders are pushing an $880 million proposal to make Virginia public colleges and universities more affordable and help industries facing worker shortages fill jobs. The $880 million Growth4VA proposal, developed by the Virginia Business Higher Education Council, is split into two different categories: $300 million for career development […]


Virginia has the ability to fix our crumbling schools. Do we have the will?

BY: - October 14, 2021

By Keith Perrigan The school infrastructure crisis in Virginia is well-documented and longstanding. The most recent data provided by the Virginia Department of Education shows that the total cost to replace schools that are at least 50 years old would carry a price tag of over $25 billion. Unfortunately, school divisions that serve high poverty […]

Virginia lags many states in state education funding, analysis says

BY: - October 12, 2021

Bristol, Tennessee and Bristol, Virginia are so close that Keith Perrigan, superintendent for Bristol Virginia Public Schools and president of the Coalition of Small and Rural Schools of Virginia, is reminded of his district’s lack of funding when he looks out his office window and sees the better-funded Tennessee system.  Even though Perrigan’s district pays […]

Petition asks the Virginia Department of Health to mandate COVID-19 vaccines in schools

BY: - October 11, 2021

A petition to mandate coronavirus vaccines for all eligible students and staff in Virginia schools has accumulated nearly 6,000 comments online — setting a record for the Virginia Department of Health’s typically sleepy regulatory process. The request was submitted last month as a public petition to the Virginia Board of Health. Under state law, any […]

GOP lawmakers push back against federal probe into threats against school board members

BY: - October 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans on Thursday objected to a move by the Justice Department to investigate violent threats made against local school board members and teachers, arguing that the federal agency is “policing the speech of citizens and concerned parents.” “Violence and true threats of violence should have no place in our civic discourse, but […]


‘Visionary’ leader altered the trajectory of Christopher Newport University

BY: - September 30, 2021

Paul Trible – visionary, top showman, eternal optimist – is calling it quits from the academic institution he’s led for a quarter-century. His distinctive stamp will remain for decades at Christopher Newport University, the Peninsula site he has transformed so dramatically that it hardly resembles the place where he became president in 1996.  I usually […]


Why a Virginia judge got it wrong on student COVID-19 data

BY: - September 15, 2021

Last week a Rockingham County Circuit Judge ruled in favor of James Madison University in a case brought by the editor of JMU’s student newspaper, The Breeze, over access to the per-day number of COVID-positive cases per on-campus residence. Armchair-quarterback that I am, I’ve read the ruling, and probably unsurprisingly, I disagree. The ruling says […]

Part of reconciliation bill centers on fighting climate change, funding scholarships at HBCUs

BY: - September 14, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Agriculture Committee on Monday finished marking up its section of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package. The agriculture portion would provide funding for historically Black land grant colleges, including Virginia State University, and investments in urban agriculture, along with boosting U.S. Department of Agriculture programs to address climate change threats in […]

Universal pre-K, free community college included in sweeping reconciliation bill

BY: - September 11, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House Education & Labor Committee on Friday finished a marathon markup of legislation that would provide universal pre-K education, expand federal Pell Grants for college students and institute two years of free community college. The $761 billion measure, approved on a party-line 28-22 vote, will be combined with other pieces of Democrats’ giant […]

Most Virginia students are returning to school without COVID-19 testing programs in place

BY: - September 10, 2021

As students return to school amid an ongoing surge of COVID-19 cases, testing has been touted as a key tool to reduce potential spread. Both the Virginia Department of Health and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “strongly recommend” testing in schools, describing it as an “important mitigation strategy.” On Thursday, President Joe Biden […]


What young kids say worked – and didn’t work – for them during virtual learning

BY: - September 9, 2021

By Mari Altshuler, Northwestern University On Aug. 30, 2021, my kid joined millions of children in walking through school doors as he began first grade. Despite the ongoing pandemic, school buildings are almost universally open. While there are many voices expressing health and safety concerns, policymakers have decided that the best choice for children’s well-being […]

Federal inspectors issue warning after finding animal welfare violations at Virginia Tech

BY: - September 1, 2021

The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued an official warning to Virginia Tech last week after an inspection found multiple animal welfare violations at the school’s veterinary facilities. In the most severe incident, a study “involving traumatic brain injuries” led to the death of four out of six Gottingen pigs included in the experiment. The first […]