Dogwood Daily: Virginia schools "borderline criminal"
By Keya Vakil
May 28, 2019

Welcome to today’s edition of the Dogwood Daily. We’ve got a round-up of all the Virginia news that’s been happening coming right up. And if you’re a fan, please forward to three friends who need to know what’s going on in the Commonwealth and tell them to subscribe here

But First…

We hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day, even those who left 10 tons of trash on Chic’s Beach in Virginia Beach. Yes, you read that right, 10 TONS. The city’s public works department cleaned the trash up, but let’s not do that again, Virginia.

5 things you need to know today…

  1. Virginia public schools in desperate need of repairs and renovations – Virginia’s public schools are crumbling and in massive need of renovation and repair, according to a new Washington Post report. Issues plague school divisions from Bristol to Richmond to Northern Virginia, and Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras has described the conditions students endure as “borderline criminal.” Virginia’s General Assembly failed to fund school repairs this year, but there’s a flicker of hope: Congress is now considering investing $100 billion over a decade to rebuild public schools across the nation.
  2. Trump’s decision to eliminate rural Jobs Corps program will hurt Virginia – The Trump administration announced on Friday that the U.S. Forest Service will no longer operate Job Corps Civilian Conservation centers, meaning that 1,100 federal employees will be laid off. The decision will directly harm Virginia, as it means the Flatwoods Job Corps center near Coeburn will be shut down. The Flatwoods center creates nearly $6 million in economic impact in the local community and employed 65 staffers as of 2017. The decision sparked condemnation from both parties, including U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, both Democrats, and Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Virginia), who represents the Coeburn area.
  3. Ken Cucinelli may oversee America’s legal immigration system – It was rumored last week that former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli was going to become President Trump’s “immigration czar” and coordinate immigration policy, but it now appears as if the President will choose Cuccinelli to oversee the country’s legal immigration system instead. Cuccinelli is expected to replace L. Francis Cissna, who is the Director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. One catch: The role requires Senate confirmation and Cuccinelli’s chances of being confirmed are “close to zero” according to the New York Times. But even if he’s not confirmed, Cuccinelli is still expected to stay on in some immigration role.
  4. Virginia autism bill removes age limit for private insurance coverage – In a move that will help tens of thousands of Virginia families, Gov. Ralph Northam will sign legislation today that massively expands insurance coverage for children with autism. Previously, insurers were able to opt out of ongoing coverage for children with autism after they turned 11, but after years of advocacy, that cap has been eliminated. The new bill will provide coverage for necessary care for all individuals with autism under state-regulated group plans beginning in January 2020.
  5. Virginia men’s lacrosse team wins national championship – The UVA men’s lacrosse team defeated Yale 13-9 on Monday to win the national championship. The team’s victory comes less than two months after their basketball counterparts also won the national title, marking a huge spring for the school’s athletic program and Cavaliers fans across the state.
  • Keya Vakil

    Keya Vakil is the deputy political editor at COURIER. He previously worked as a researcher in the film industry and dabbled in the political world.

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