Welcome to your Wednesday, Virginia. Hope you didn’t stay up too late binging HBO’s Theranos doc like I did. Today we’ve got senators trying to do good, mayors talking confederate statutes and two tales of school funding.
1. Kaine and Warner Intro Veterans Mental Health Bill. Starting out with some good news from the Capitol for a change, Virginia Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner introduced a bill to increase the number of mental health professionals in the Department of Veterans Affairs and expand access to alternative treatments like animal therapy and yoga (but probably not goat yoga.)
2. Stoney Talks Confederate Statues… Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu talked confederate statues and race relations in general (a hot topic in Virginia these days) Tuesday at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture. Stoney said he would take down Richmond’s confederate statutes if he had the legal authority.
3. …And Pitches His Budget, Tax Increases Included. Stoney also pitched his proposed budget to city residents last night, including a tax hike to cover the cost of improving city schools and streets. Because we all want better schools and streets, and money doesn’t grow on trees.
4. Norfolk Regrets Techer Cuts. Last year theNorfolk School Board cut full-time teaching specialists in eight of the city’s highest-performing and wealthiest schools, but after test scores dropped (shocker), the board is fighting to reinstitute a dozen reading and math specialists over the next two to three years.
5. Speaking Of Teacher Shortages, Here’s Time Kaine (Again). In addition to the veterans mental health bill,Kaine also introduced bipartisan legislation to address teacher and principal shortages, particularly in rural communities.