Countywide

Two Virginia lawmakers are proposing sweeping measures to improve the state’s provision of special education services as criticisms from parents and the federal government over Virginia’s compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act continue.

Sponsored by Del. Carrie Coyner, R-Chesterfield, and Sen. Barbara Favola, D-Arlington, the proposals would create a statewide system to oversee the development and use of individualized education programs (IEPs) for students with special needs, require more training for educators about how to provide inclusive special education instruction, set up eight regional “special education parent support centers” and provide additional specialists to divisions.


News

(Updated at 2:25 p.m.) Annandale High School’s orchestra director is on her way to Los Angeles for the upcoming Grammy Awards.

Annie Ray, who teaches music and leads the orchestra program at the school, is the winner of the 2024 Grammy Music Educator Award, CBS Mornings announced today.


Countywide

Legislation banning Virginia’s public colleges and universities from providing special treatment in admissions decisions to students related to alumni and donors is on track to head to Gov. Glenn Youngkin later this session.

On Tuesday, the Virginia House joined the Senate in passing the proposal on a unanimous vote. Both bills, which are identical, must now pass in the opposite chambers before they are sent to the governor for his approval.


Countywide

The upcoming capital projects plan for Fairfax County Public Schools comes with questions and uncertainties about future planning to address overcrowding and school capacity issues throughout the school system earlier this month.

Unveiled earlier this month, the new Capital Improvements Program (CIP) covers fiscal years 2025 through 2029. It sets the location, timing and funding of new schools, renovations and other capital projects over a five-year period.


Countywide

With ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence-based tools becoming increasingly mainstream, Fairfax County Public Schools officials have started discussing potential guidelines to govern how the technology is used in the classroom.

The Fairfax County School Board broached the topic at work session forum on Nov. 28, led by outgoing board chair and Dranesville District representative Elaine Tholen and Sully District representative Stella Pekarsky.


Countywide

The Virginia Board of Education is asking the General Assembly to develop a plan for changing the state’s existing school funding formula to help divisions strapped for money but isn’t backing a proposal to remove a cap that limits the number of support positions the state will fund.

According to an earlier report by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, which conducts analysis and provides oversight of state agencies on behalf of the General Assembly, changing the formula could help address the underfunding of schools.


News

A local robotics organization is hoping to formalize its services for high school students in Herndon.

Dead Robot Society is asking Fairfax County’s permission to bring its program to 1207 Crayton Road, which is currently a nearly 3,300-square-foot single-family home.


Countywide

Democrats are again pushing for legislation that would allow local governments to hold referenda on increasing their sales and use tax to pay for school capital projects such as construction and renovations.

The party hopes the effort, which has been tried twice before but defeated by Republicans, will be successful now that Democrats are set to control both the House of Delegates and the Senate following the November elections.


Countywide

With the last pandemic-era expansions of federal child care aid to states set to end next year, Gov. Glenn Youngkin is proposing to put $448 million into the commonwealth’s early learning and child care system in each of the next two years.

“The reality is that in March 2024, without significant reforms to improve this long-term viability of our child care programs, we would otherwise see children simply being kicked out of these most important collaborations that enable families to realize their dreams and so we can’t leave families, parents and their children without options,” said Youngkin at a press conference for his “Building Blocks for Virginia Families” initiative Thursday.


Countywide

A flurry of snow days will be on the table for Fairfax County Public Schools this winter, though it remains to be seen how much the weather will oblige.

FCPS has built 11 snow days into its 2023-2024 calendar, and it will fully close on all of them if needed, ending a recent practice of shifting to virtual learning after five snow days.


View More Stories