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Budget Amendment Would Allow Virginia Schools To Go Year-Round

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A number of Virginia school systems are supporting a "year-round" school year despite some resistance to the concept by some groups. And while proponents admit that it may not work for all school systems, they believe it's essential to boosting academic achievement, especially in districts with socio-economic challenges.

Year-round schools don't always lengthen the academic year but, instead, may reorganize it to give less time out of class during summer breaks. A proposed budget amendment would fund the needed teachers, support staff and transportation. Lynchburg School Superintendent Scott Brabrand says one school in his city is proof that the concept works.

"It is over 90 percent economically disadvantaged, yet it is one of our most successful elementary schools," he says.

Senator Donald McEachin, who backs the plan, stresses that it's optional.

"This is a local option, and it doesn't even mandate that the school system has to do it. The localities can pick schools that they want to," he says.

Until more systems opt in and they can gauge those costs, they propose $3 million annually to fund year-round schooling grants.

NPR

'Game Of Thrones' Evolves On Women In Explosive Sixth Season

The sixth season of HBO's Game of Thrones showed a real evolution in the way the show portrays women and in the season finale, several female characters ascended to power. NPR's Kelly McEvers talks to Glen Weldon from NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour and Greta Johnsen, host of the Nerdette podcast, about the show.
NPR

In Quest For Happier Chickens, Perdue Shifts How Birds Live And Die

Perdue Farms, one of the largest poultry companies in the country, says it will change its slaughter methods and also some of its poultry houses. Animal welfare groups are cheering.
WAMU 88.5

Jonathan Rauch On How American Politics Went Insane

Party insiders and backroom deals: One author on why we need to bring back old-time politics.

WAMU 88.5

Episode 5: Why 1986 Still Matters

In 1986, a federal official issued a warning: If Metro continued to expand rapidly, the system faced a future of stark choices over maintaining existing infrastructure. Metro chose expansion. We talk to a historian about that decision. We also hear from a former Metro general manager about the following years, and from an Arlington planner about measuring how riders are responding to SafeTrack.

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