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Public Education: What is the State’s Responsibility ,

Deborah Sprenger

Public education remains one of the primary responsibilities shared between state and local government. The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia requires the General Assembly to provide a system of free public schools. That provision has been…

School Desegregation: A Community’s Response,

Sarah Taylor, Salem City Schools

The challenge of protecting civil rights in a democracy, the intersection between state and local government, the activity of citizens in their local school board and administration, and the role of the media in addressing controversial issues are…

Military Recruiting on Campus: Amendment to the "No Child Left Behind Act",

U.S. Senate

The federal "No Child Left Behind" Act was created to ensure equal quality of education for all students. One frequent problem in education is the "achievement gap" between students from different backgrounds. Some examples of this include: low…

"No Child Left Behind Act": Regulations for States (Excerpt),

U.S. Congress, House and Senate

The federal "No Child Left Behind" Act was created to ensure equal quality of education for all students. One frequent problem in education is the "achievement gap" between students from different backgrounds. Some examples of this include: low…

Senator John Warner's Comments on the "No Child Left Behind Act",

John Warner

This document is part of the Congressional Record of what legislators say when the Senate is in session. Former Virginia Senator John Warner (as opposed to Senator Mark Warner) discusses his views on federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, and why…

Budget Hero Game,

American Public Media

Budget Hero gives players an opportunity to try to manage the Federal budget by making budget decisions without breaking the bank. Players can choose up to three major issues to focus on, such as  national defense, health and wellness, energy independence, and efficient government. The game provides details about individual issues (such as funding for mass transit and other infrastructure), which can inform players about some of the major policy issues being dicussed right now. The game is aimed at the Federal budget, but some of the policy decisions affect state and local governments.

Public Agenda: Helping Americans Explore Today's Issues,

Public Agenda

This website provides a wealth of up-to-date coverage of current issues, from America's role in the international community to Social Security. A large section for educators includes resources for teachers, students, parents, and leaders. Topics such as the rising cost of college tuition are particularly relevant for those involved in education. While there are limited resources specifically aimed at Virginia, the broader issues covered by the website can easily be oriented to fit discussions about their specific application on the state and local level.

Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services,

Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services

How does the government help individuals who might have trouble making it on their own? The Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services aims to help people with disabilities gain independence, so that they can live, work, or go to school. This website offers a window into the way government helps individuals, with an extensive index of articles that show concrete examples of government actions. These include downloadable press releases relating to gubernatorial initiatives, charts, meeting minutes, and much more.

Virginia State Police,

Virginia Department of State Police

The Virginia State Police website offers information about police initiatives to improve public safety throughout the Commonwealth. Website visitors can see the ways the public can access these initiatives, including public safety tips and annual vehicle safety inspections. Police are also subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and the website offers directions for requesting information. Overall, the Virginia State Police portal deals with ways the public and public safety officers interact with each other, which is a prime example of government in action.

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.