Federal funding restrictions could force schools to spend millions improving buildings that should be replaced
Virginia schools received nearly $2 billion from the federal government in its latest round of COVID-19 relief funding for public education. But while current guidance allows that money to pay for pandemic-related improvements — including new HVAC systems, window repairs or replacing carpeted areas with tile — it strongly discourages new school construction, according to […]
Q&A: VMI’s new superintendent on report that says school has been ‘run by White men, for White men.’
Virginia Military Institute’s superintendent says he’s not surprised by the findings in a law firm’s scathing report released Tuesday that concluded the school long tolerated institutional racism and sexism. But he pushed back at assertions that leaders of the 180-year-old school were unwilling to change. The Virginia Mercury interviewed Maj. Gen. Cedric Wins about the […]
To reduce racial disparities in Virginia schools, advisers say more of the numbers should be public
Genisus Holland was a high schooler at Maggie Walker in Richmond — one of Virginia’s competitive governor’s schools — when she and her classmates were assigned an end-of-year writing project. “You could either do a sonnet, a rap, or some other poem,” said Holland, who’s now a freshman at George Mason University. She remembers clearly […]
A battle of borrowed status
By Makya Renée Little A few years back, I visited upstate New York with a friend to celebrate the medical school graduation of another friend. We both forgot to pack lotion and decided to grab some on our way to the celebration. Unfortunately, the pump on the bottle was defective. Sensing my frustration, my friend […]
Black and low-income students are underrepresented in Virginia AP classes, report finds
Black high school students in Virginia are sharply underrepresented in Advanced Placement courses even when they’re not low-income — and even when they attend advantaged, largely homogeneous schools, a new report says. The same findings don’t hold true for other student groups, and are part of a larger focus on disparities in Virginia’s public school […]
Graduation plans vary across Virginia
By Sarah Elson/ Capital News Service College and high school graduations will still look different due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but more Virginia universities are returning to in-person ceremonies. Graduations will be held online, in person or a hybrid format. Gov. Ralph Northam announced last month preliminary guidance for graduation events, which continues to be updated. […]
Southwest Virginia is setting a model for virtual learning — even after the COVID-19 pandemic
By the time coronavirus cases began surging across Virginia for the third time in less than a year, Keith Perrigan knew his teachers needed a break. “I never dreamed last March that we would be into this April and still dealing with the pandemic,” said Perrigan, who serves as the superintendent of Bristol Public Schools. […]
Will Virginia colleges require COVID-19 vaccinations? Should they?
By Hunter Britt/ Capital News Service Virginia universities plan a return to campuses in the fall, but there are questions if the COVID-19 vaccine can be mandated. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration only authorized the vaccine for emergency purposes, according to Lisa Lee, professor of public health at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. The vaccine […]
Virginia to pilot COVID-19 testing program in public schools
Virginia is one of a growing number of states exploring testing as a way to combat COVID-19 in K-12 schools. Dr. Laurie Forlano, a deputy commissioner for the Virginia Department of Health, said the agency is launching a pilot program to provide rapid antigen tests to schools across the state. VDH is rolling out the […]
Virginia teachers are going to be assessed on ‘cultural competency.’ What does that mean?
Makya Little was helping her fourth-grade daughter review for the Virginia Studies SOL, a standardized test on state history, when she found herself taken aback by one of the questions on the study guide. “She gets to this one question that says ‘What’s the status of the early African?’” said Little, who lives in Prince […]
What Virginia’s school outbreak dashboard can — and can’t — say about the risks of reopening
In late September, when Virginia health officials launched a dashboard that detailed outbreaks in K-12 schools across the state, it was applauded as a long-needed step toward more transparency — and a relief for parents hesitant over the prospect of sending their children back to the classroom. Six months later, the data on reopening has […]
The pandemic didn’t hurt enrollment at most of Va.’s four-year universities. Not so for community colleges.
Virginia’s colleges and universities weathered the COVID-19 pandemic without a significant loss in enrollment, according to new analysis from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. However, the report did flag a major drop in community college attendance. “Big picture, Virginia colleges dodged a bullet,” said Tom Allison, SCHEV’s senior associate for finance policy […]