WAMU 88.5 : News

Funding Puts Takeover Of Alexandria's Jefferson-Houston School In Doubt

Play associated audio
Jefferson-Houston is the first school in Northern Virginia slated for state takeover, if the state dedicates money to the project.
Michael Pope/WAMU
Jefferson-Houston is the first school in Northern Virginia slated for state takeover, if the state dedicates money to the project.

Virginia lawmakers are at odds over the budget. While most of the attention has gone to the debate over expanding Medicaid, that's not the only issue that's left unresolved by the impasse.

This fall, a handful of failing schools are set to be taken over by the newly created Opportunity Educational Institution. That includes Jefferson-Houston School in Alexandria, the only school in Northern Virginia where scores have been so low for so long that it qualifies.

But the takeover may be in doubt because of the battle over the budget. Alexandria Del. Rob Krupicka, whose district includes the school, says the House budget has limited funding for the initiative.

"The reality is that the House brought it down, and they took out most of its money in the budget that they proposed, which tells me is that there's not a lot of support for it left," Krupicka says.

The law passed last year, and since that time, a board has been appointed and an executive director has been hired. Back in December, former governor Bob McDonnell proposed a $600,000 budget for the program. But House leaders offered $150,000, and the Senate version of the budget has no money for the initiative. Meanwhile, a lawsuit is challenging the constitutionality of a state institution taking over local schools.

"We're going to get rid of OEI one way or another," says Senate Democratic Leader Dick Saslaw. "I mean it isn't going to be around. It should have never gotten started to begin with, and like I said one way or another we are going to get rid of it. That's a promise."

Lawmakers are expiated to return to Richmond for a special session to craft a final budget on March 24.


Lisa Lucas Takes The Reins At The National Book Foundation

Lucas is the third executive director in the history of the foundation, which runs the National Book Awards. Her priority? Inclusivity: "Everyone is either a reader or a potential reader," she says.

The Shocking Truth About America's Ethanol Law: It Doesn't Matter (For Now)

Ted Cruz doesn't like the law that requires the use of ethanol in gasoline. So what would happen if it was abolished? The surprising answer: not much, probably.
WAMU 88.5

The Latest on the Military, Political and Humanitarian Crises in Syria

Russia continues airstrikes in Syria. Secretary Kerry meets with world leaders in an attempt to resolve the country’s five-year civil war. A panel joins Diane to discuss the latest on the military, political and humanitarian crises facing Syria.


Do You Like Me? Swiping Leads To Spike In Online Dating For Young Adults

A study by the Pew Research Center finds the use of online dating sites has mushroomed in the past few years, particularly among 18- to 24-year-olds.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.