Local Government, Civic Affairs and Education

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A new report by the Virginia State Board of Education says there remains a persistent achievement gap for certain student groups and the state faces a growing shortage of high-quality teachers. The report was officially presented to lawmakers and Gov. Ralph Northam on Sunday, and it calls for elected officials to rethink how schools are funded. The report says the increasing reliance on local funds versus state money to pay for public schools is “inherently inequitable.” The report said Virginia is one of the wealthiest states in the country but has a “regressive” system deprives high-poverty school systems of adequate money. The report also highlighted declines in reading proficiency by Virginia students on a national test compared to two years ago.

Photo: RCPS

This is an exciting time at Fallon Park Elementary School in southeast Roanoke — and December should be even more exciting when students and staff move into Phase 2 of their new building. These facilities include more classrooms, a computer lab and a new cafeteria. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story:

11-25 Fallon park Wrap-WEB

Click here for Roanoke Public Schools’ web page on Fallon Park Elementary School construction.

The symbolic head of the State Senate’s bills for the upcoming General Assembly is the Equal Rights Amendment. If it were approved by the newly Democratic-controlled General Assembly, the amendment that was first introduced in the 1920’s could be added to the Constitution — if it would survive legal challenges as to whether Virginia’s ratification came more than 40 years too late. WFIR’s Ian Price has more:

11-19 ERA Approval WRAP 1

HUD-RRHA EnVision announcement/G Marrano photo

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority announced a new program today – a “EnVision Center” for those in HUD-subsidized housing that will make it easier to access other services that can lift them out of poverty – in the areas of education, job training, health, and leadership. Roanoke City manager Bob Cowell was on hand at R-R-H-A for the announcement.  There may or may not be a physical EnVision Center established; Cowell says its more about collating resources already available. There are less than two dozen HUD EnVision Centers nationwide.

11-13 Cowell-HUD for Web