Health & Education

What education, grocery stores, and have in common

Kristin L. Allen | Virginia Education Coalition

In August 2017, Amazon entered the retail grocery market. Its goal: transform the economic value chain associated with traditional bricks-and-mortar grocery delivery. Its plan: expand its scope, differentiate its product, cut cost by integrating grocers and customers into its larger e-commerce platform, and lower consumer prices. , Traditional grocery chains’ market value dropped 8 percent overnight.

And this is just the beginning – we will … continuously lower prices as we invent together. – Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon World Consumer

Education and grocery stores are different industries, but both have much to learn from Amazon. Like traditional grocers, public education’s business model is based on a command-and-control, geographically-based, product delivery system that has worked the same for decades. Both take advantage of technology to improve their business model, but in different ways. Continue reading

VEC Releases its study “Impact of Parental Choice Education Savings Accounts on Rural Virginia Counties”

Kristin L. Allen

For the third year, Del. David LaRock (VA-33) has introduced Parental Choice Education Savings Account (PCESA) legislation in the Virginia General Assembly.

This legislation will allow a parent to receive approximately one-third of Virginia’s per pupil expenditure on K12 education to place their public school student in a private school or home school, leaving one-third of the expenditure to cover the fixed cost of school operations, and one-third as savings to the state and locality for re-investment in public schools.

Under a grant from EdChoice (formerly the Friedman Foundation), VEC analyzed the economic and fiscal impact of PCESA legislation on rural Virginia Counties (see VEC Report PDF).

VEC found that implementation of the PCESA will deliver the following results: Continue reading

The Elephant in the Classroom: Mass Immigration’s Impact on Public Education

What Every Parent and Taxpayer Should Know About Immigration and the Public Education Crisis.
The total LEP cost for Virginia is $1,356,730,290. Minus the federal contribution (your tax dollars) of $11,431,525, the total cost to the state (your tax dollars again) is $1,345,298,765

Federation for American Immigration Reform


Public school districts across the United States are suffering under a massive unfunded mandate imposed by the federal government: the requirement to educate millions of illegal aliens, the school age children of illegal aliens, refugees and legal immigrant students. FAIR estimates that it currently costs public schools $59.8 billion to serve this burgeoning population. The struggle to fund programs for students with Limited English Proficiency (LEP), sometimes called English Language Learners (ELL), represents a major drain on school budgets. Yet due to political correctness, it is taboo to raise the issue even though scarce resources are redirected away from American citizens to support programs like English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Second Language (ESL).

The influx of newcomers to the public schools is helping President Barack Obama fulfill the promise he made five days before his election in 2008 to “fundamentally [transform] the United States.” Almost one in every ten students enrolled in public schools is designated as LEP. For kindergartners, the figure is 17.4 percent. In 2013, the Department of Education determined that the United States will require 82,408 new or trained LEP teachers by 2018—if school districts can find enough qualified candidates. Despite the growing LEP population, only 10 percent of teachers are currently certified or trained in ESL.1

Factors Straining Public Schools

  • A surge of Unaccompanied Alien Minors crossing the border from Mexico, Guatemala,Honduras and El Salvador beginning in 2014
  • Family units entering the country illegally
  • People overstaying their visas
  • Higher-than-average birthrates among families with an illegal head-of-household
  • Around a million legal immigrants granted permanent resident status every year since 2004

In addition, the spread of “sanctuary” policies across the country—cities, counties and two states (California and Connecticut) that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration agencies—also serves as a magnet for illegal aliens. Almost every school district highlighted in this report operates in an active sanctuary jurisdiction.2

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Patient First No Longer Accepting New Anthem Patients

Matt Chaney | Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Virginia’s largest provider of primary and urgent health care, Patient First, has stopped accepting new patients insured by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, citing Anthem’s “reduction in the reimbursement rates paid.”

The change, which took effect Feb. 2, also excludes all Anthem members with HealthKeepers Plus plans, even people who are existing patients at Patient First.

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Time to Stop Criminalizing Mere Misconduct

By Chris Braunlich and Angela Ciolfi
            Why does Virginia have the highest rate of referring school children to police?
            A report last April by the Center on Public Integrity, using U.S. Department of Education data, demonstrated that Virginia schools referred students to law enforcement at a rate nearly three times higher than the national average.
            And the stories attached to the figures are legendary – from the 11-year-old boy with autism charged with disorderly conduct for kicking a trashcan, to the 12-year-old girl charged with four misdemeanors, including “obstruction of justice” for “clenching her fist” at a police officer.

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