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General Assembly 2015
8:38 am
Tue February 17, 2015

Senate Debates Junk Food in School Fundraisers

Flickr user Salim Virji
Credit Creative Commons, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Virginia schools could hold numerous fundraisers per year selling food that doesn’t meet nutritional guidelines under legislation that has passed both houses of the General Assembly.  The bill requires the Board of Education to craft regulations that would be more permissive than current state policy, and permit the sale of what some call “junk food” during school hours.  The Senate made its decision only after lengthy debate about what’s really best for the students. 

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General Assembly
4:00 am
Mon February 16, 2015

Lawmakers Debate Stun Guns & Pepper Spray in School

Virginia’s House has approved a bill designed to prevent school shootings, and state senators begin debating the measure today.  Sponsored by Fredericksburg Delegate Mark Cole, it  allows local school boards to arm security officers with batons, pepper spray and stun guns.

“These are school employees.  They are not law enforcement officers.  They don’t have training to use batons, stun weapons and spray devices.”  

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General Assembly 2015
8:24 am
Thu February 5, 2015

Charter School Bill Clears State Senate

Flickr user Ryan McGilchrist
Credit Creative Commons, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

After a very spirited debate in the state Senate, charter school proponents win a major victory. Senators passed a resolution to amend the state constitution to give the Board of Education authority to establish charter schools in Virginia. 

Bill supporters argue that Virginia has only seven charter schools, but a far greater number of jurisdictions need more options for students with substandard public schools. Senator Tom Garrett agrees that socio-economic status should not determine a child's quality of education.

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General Assembly 2015
8:14 am
Fri January 30, 2015

School Divisions Could Have Flexibility in Graduation Requirements

In Richmond, members of the General Assembly are moving forward with the plan to change high school graduation requirements. The bill is part of a larger effort to reduce the influence of standardized tests.

The House Education Committee is moving forward with a bill that would give local school divisions more flexibility in how they determine graduation requirements. The idea is to let administrators ditch standardized tests in favor of other assessments, like a science project or a research essay.

"I don't think it undermines the accountability."

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Education
8:08 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Grading Virginia's Schools - A Failing Idea?

Flickr User alamosbasement
Credit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

In Virginia, lawmakers are taking action to REPEAL a system of assigning every school in the commonwealth with a letter grade.  

Is your neighborhood elementary school an A school? Or would it earn a C? Parents may never know because lawmakers are moving forward with an effort to spike a system that would have issued a grade to each school. It's an idea that dates back two years ago, when the General Assembly passed the original effort. Then last year they delayed it. Now the House Education Committee is moving forward with an effort to kill it. 

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