Public Education

Public education in the United States is built on local control from locally elected school boards to appointed regents overseeing universities in cooperation with state departments of education.  Overlaying the local systems, however, is a federal Department of Education and efforts by presidents and the Congress to direct and influence the nation's classrooms.  It was 19th century reformers who pressed to make public education not only available but compulsory with some states limiting the requirement to elementary schools.  Congress joined in during that time providing support for state land-grant universities who, in exchange for the federal aid, provided agricultural research and military training.  The biggest recent change in American education came in 2002 when President George W. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act.  The controversial law required states to generate tests and standards to measure the annual progress of students and schools, give students of failing schools more options including transfers to other schools and provide more information.  The Obama administration, despite pressure to scrap the NCLB act altogether, has instead opted to grant waivers to states that agree to impose their own standards to improve and measure standards, accountability and teacher effectiveness.


Related Legislation

SB 656 Public schools

Public schools; administration of auto-injectable epinephrine. Provides that local school boards may develop policies to… more »

SB 623 Higher educational institutions

Higher education; mental health treatment coordination.  Requires the governing board of each public institution of… more »

SB 617 Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center

Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center; King College.  Adds King College to the Southwest Virginia Higher Education… more »

SB 605 Tuition, in-state

Eligibility for in-state tuition; military personnel.  Provides that, for current and former military personnel and… more »

SB 599 Virginia College Savings Plan Oversight Act

Virginia College Savings Plan Oversight Act. Directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) to oversee… more »

SB 598 Virtual school program

Public schools; virtual education. Provides that any student who enrolls full time in a virtual school program served by… more »
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Virginia (change)

Virginia was founded in 1607 in Jamestown. Since then, Virginia has grown and prospered into a thriving state rich with diversity from culture to climate.
Offices & Officials

Governor: Robert F. McDonnell
Lieutenant Governor: Bill Bolling
Attorney General: Ken Cuccinelli
Secretary of State: Janet Polarek