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 […]

Attorney general says plan to arm teachers in Lee County is unlawful

BY: - August 28, 2018

Attorney General Mark Herring said in an opinion Tuesday that a plan approved last month by the Lee County School Board to arm teachers is unlawful. “For five years in a row the General Assembly rejected specific proposals to arm teachers, so there’s really no ambiguity,” Herring said in a statement. In an effort to get […]

So far this year, the number of mumps cases in Virginia has tripled

BY: - August 27, 2018

It’s that time of year again, and Virginia’s college campuses are swarming with students who might gain a lot over the next semester: hopefully some knowledge, maybe a few pounds and possibly mumps. So far, there have been 157 cases of mumps this year, more than three times the typical number the state sees. There […]

Report: Virginia spending on school infrastructure down 33 percent

BY: - August 13, 2018

Between state and local governments, in 2016 Virginia spent 33 percent less than in 2008 on school capital projects, like building new schools or renovating existing ones, according to a new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington, D.C., research and policy nonprofit. Virginia is among 36 states in which capital […]

Virginia makes more money available for school security grants

BY: - July 23, 2018

With Lee County announcing its intention  earlier this month to become the first school system in Virginia to arm teachers, partly because it’s cheaper than hiring officers, Gov. Ralph Northam’s office says an additional $1.3 million is available in grants for police and security. “Ensuring the safety of Virginians, especially of our youth, is a […]

Alternate universe Senate race, update on Unite the Right anniversary and Richmond’s attendance woes, among other headlines

BY: - July 23, 2018

A different result with ranked-choice voting? Could instant-runoff voting, also known as ranked-choice voting, have installed Nick Freitas as the GOP Senate candidate instead of Corey Stewart? Marla McKenna at  The Culpeper Star-Exponent quotes Freitas as in favor of the method, calling it “a solid policy” and pledging to support legislation that would give Virginia voters that […]

VCU president is highest-paid public college president in the state

BY: - July 17, 2018

The Chronicle of Higher Education released its annual ranking of executive compensation of the country’s public and private colleges universities over the weekend. The highest-paid public college president in the state, Virginia Commonwealth University President Michael Rao, came in at 43 on the list with a compensation package totaling $690,943. Behind him on the list […]