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Virginia Department of Health,

Virginia Department of Health

The Virginia Department of Health has a comprehensive website with information on health-related issues ranging from disease outbreaks to restaurant inspections. Ever wondered why you have to get all those pesky shots before going to school? The Virginia Department of Health deals with issues that affect everyone, and its website shows the ways government influences our lives every day.

Dillon’s Rule: Should it Stay or Should it Go?,

Shawn English, Fairfax County Public Schools

As one of the central principles that guide policy making decisions of local jurisdictions, Dillon’s Rule (state control of local government) is an important concept in understanding government in the Commonwealth. Students will read an essay about…

Why Does Global Health Matter to Virginia?,

In today's increasingly globalized world, what happens in India or China can affect trade or travel in Virginia. What are some ways that you interact with the rest of the world on a day-to-day basis? Where do your food and clothes come from? What is…

Secretary of Finance,

Secretary of Finance

This website outlines the way the Secretary of Finance implements Virginia’s budget, in cooperation with the Governor, legislature, and other departments. One important aspect of the website is Agency Information, which shows how the Secretary of Finance connects with other financial departments. A News section offers press releasees about the Governor’s financial policies. While brief, the Secretary of Finance website shows the interconnectedness of government offices.

Where Does My Money Go?,

Auditor of Public Accounts

This website is a user-friendly database of information about the state budget, as well as demographic information about different localities. On the main page, a pie chart provides a breakdown of the top ten appropriations in 2007. Users can search for information about how much local governments received in appropriations, how many driver’s licenses were issued in each locality, and comparisons between budgets for different localities. Each data set is available in excel format, in case users want to create their own graphs or another analysis of it. This website is extremely easy to navigate, and offers a wealth of information about Virginia’s budget.

VRA to Invest More Than $200 Million in Local Projects Statewide ,

Rod Davis and Liz Bryant

The Virginia Resources Authority (VRA) is a state organization that helps fund local government projects, such as infrastructure, public health and safety projects, and public schools. This document describes the VRA and some projects it has funded.…

2007 Attorney General opinion on school transportation,

Robert McDonnell

In this public letter, Attorney General Robert McDonnell responds to a state delegate asking a legal question about school transportation. The delegate requested legal advice about whether or not a school could charge a fee to transport students to…

Virginia Service,

Virginia Office of Volunteerism and Community Service

Virginia Service is a portal for volunteer opportunities run by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Hands-on volunteering opportunities are an excellent way for students to learn about civic duty and good citizenship. In addition to a search feature of available volunteering opportunities, Virginia Service also describes some academic benefits of volunteering.

Political Activity for Public Servants (Hatch Act),

U.S. Office of Special Counsel

These Hatch Act guidelines outline the legal restrictions placed on government employees’ involvement in political activities. This website is aimed at state, federal, and local government officials, and it offers a window into potentially problematic areas of government. How may state and federal officials participate in political campaigns? When does it become a conflict of interest? These questions and more could form the basis of a classroom discussion or a research project.