Some school districts may struggle to find local match for proposed teacher pay raise

BY: - January 16, 2019

Danielle Kinder has teaching in her family tree — her mom presides over a high school classroom down the hallway from her in Russell County and her sister used to be with them too before switching to elementary school. But teaching in Russell County is difficult. It’s the second lowest-paying county in Virginia for teachers […]

Northam proposes $36 million to add more counselors to schools

BY: - December 13, 2018

Gov. Ralph Northam announced that his proposed budget will include $36 million to increase the number of counselors at schools across the state in an effort to ramp up school safety and provide more support to students facing mental health challenges. Suicide is the leading cause of death among school-aged children both nationally and in […]

With a positive economic outlook, Northam proposes teacher pay raise, more money for school construction

BY: - December 11, 2018

Gov. Ralph Northam wants to give teachers a 5 percent pay raise starting next July, an increase from a previously approved 3 percent raise. It would be the largest, single-year raise for educators in the state in more than 15 years, Northam said Tuesday while presenting parts of his proposed education budget. He’ll formally share […]

A change that would make Virginia’s prepaid college savings plan more affordable

BY: - November 26, 2018

A proposal to change a prepaid college savings plan would make it more affordable and flexible for future college students, state auditors found. Prepaid529, one of several options through the Virginia529 program, currently allows buyers to pre-purchase semesters at public Virginia colleges and universities. Residents pay today’s tuition rates and the state guarantees to pay […]

State commission recommends reimbursement for foster families to help teens get driver’s licenses, more training for child-abuse investigators

BY: - November 21, 2018

Virginia’s Commission on Youth adopted recommendations Tuesday aimed at reducing existing barriers for teenagers in the foster care system seeking a driver’s license and increasing training for social services workers, particularly in dealing with child abuse allegations against teachers. The recommendations ranged from legislative proposals for the upcoming General Assembly session to letters addressed to […]

Virginia Mercury

Virginia students outperform peers nationwide on SAT

BY: - October 25, 2018

Graduating seniors in Virginia this year did better than their national peers in language arts and mathematics on the SAT, according to the Virginia Department of Education. About 54,900 public school students took the college-readiness test this year, with 54 percent meeting or exceeding the test’s benchmarks in mathematics and reading and writing, compared to […]

Virginia Mercury

Virginia’s students outscored the nation on ACT

BY: - October 18, 2018

The Virginia students who take the ACT test did better than their peers nationwide this year, according to the state’s Department of Education. Public school students received an average composite score of 23.8 on the test, which is meant to determine college readiness, compared with 20.4 nationwide. The tests are scored on a scale of […]

Virginia’s FOIA council wants university boards to allow public comment before tuition changes

BY: - October 18, 2018

Boards that govern public universities and colleges should allow students and other stakeholders to speak at meetings when the cost of attendance may change, the state’s Freedom of Information Act Advisory Council said Wednesday. But it’s not a change that needs to be codified in law, the council decided. For now, public comment at colleges’ […]

Virginia Mercury

Report: College in Virginia is more expensive because the state hasn’t funded it

BY: - October 16, 2018

Over the last decade, Virginia’s decreased spending on higher education has shifted more of the cost on to students, especially black, Latino and low-income ones, a new analysis by The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis found. Virginia spends $1,306 less per student now than it did in 2008, even though the economy has returned to […]

The Virginia House of Delegates met Thursday to discuss redistricting, but didn't get far. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury - Aug. 30, 2018)

GMU professor relaunches 41-year-old almanac with focus on women in Virginia politics

BY: - October 4, 2018

A George Mason University professor is reviving a 41-year-old record book of state government information, this time online and with a focus on women in Virginia politics. Toni-Michelle Travis, along with seven GMU students in the Schar School of Policy, is working on a new and improved digital version of the Almanac of Virginia Politics that she […]

Should abuse allegations against teachers be subject to a higher standard of proof?

BY: - September 27, 2018

A group of lawmakers is weighing whether teachers merit an extra level of protection during child abuse investigations. For most cases, an allegation is considered founded if child protective services investigators determine that the alleged abuse or neglect actually occurred based on the available evidence. But if the alleged act took place within the scope […]

State school safety panel recommends bullet-resistant whiteboards, more guidance counselors, more police

BY: - September 11, 2018

A special House of Delegates committee floated 54 ways the state could make schools safer from the threat of shootings and violence. Among them: Bullet-resistant whiteboards, more guidance counselors, more school resource officers. The long list – which lawmakers say they still need to price out and winnow down – had something for everyone, with […]