Education

A look at education issues around Virginia.

Drawing up the state budget happens every two years, and the process is plugging along now at the capitol. The Governor has made his suggestions, and this weekend Virginia’s House and Senate issued theirs.  Now it’s on to wrangling out the details.

With three weeks left to finalize the specifics -- lawmakers, lobbyists, and the Governor will be scrutinizing all three proposals to figure out how best to use taxpayer dollars over the next two years. We take a look at what still needs to be pinned down.

• Who Gets A Raise, When

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According to a new poll from the Virginia Education Association, almost three quarters of Virginians say teachers in the state don’t make enough money. It looks like teachers will be getting a raise in this year’s budget...but the question is how much.

Virginia’s teachers make almost $7,000 below the the national average. And that’s making it hard for the state to attract, and keep, teachers in the classroom -- says Meg Gruber with the Education Association.

  If you don’t have kids you still have to pay the taxes that support public schools, just like everyone else. But Republicans in the state legislature are putting weight behind an educational measure that would change that. A proposed bill would allow parents who send their kids to private school or home-school to get some of their tax money back.

That money wouldn’t go straight into parents’ pockets, but into a savings account that could only be accessed for educational spending.

A new exhibit at the Blacksburg Children’s Museum features satellite imagery of the area and a real time weather station to show how geography and climate are related.  

The terrain in and around Blacksburg is breathtaking with its mountain ridges, forests and waterways. 

And, the view from hundreds of miles up is a great way to appreciate it. 

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What if high-schoolers in Virginia could take a computer programming class instead of French or Spanish? Lawmakers in Richmond are considering allowing that swap, as one way to get more kids into computer science.

With talk of gigahertz and infinite loops, Intro to Computer Programming at Henrico County’s Deep Run High School, certainly sounds like a foreign language class. And if some Virginia lawmakers get their way, it could also count as a foreign language.

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