Beshear Rolls Out Children’s Dental Health Partnership: Gov. Steve Beshear (D) launches an initiative to provide children with access to dental care. It is a partnership between a dental nonprofit organization and the U. of Louisville Pediatrics and will provide a joint comprehensive care facility for children enrolled in Medicaid. Through co-located facilities, the two organizations will work to meet both the dental and medical needs while providing a health care home for children who qualify for health care services through the Medicaid program.
Hassan Releases STEM Task Force Report: Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) releases the final report of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) task force, which identifies strategies to improve the K-12 STEM education system. Recommendations include expanding access to data and statistical analysis courses, holding STEM-related competitions and advanced study classes, and empowering teachers to apply STEM concepts and competencies to math and science team projects of pre–high school students. The task force is a result of a 2014 executive order intended to help students develop critical thinking skills and succeed in the modern economy.
$2.5M to Aid Teacher Mentor Program: Gov. Susana Martinez (R) announces plans to establish a mentorship support program for teachers and to increase student academic achievement. The proposal includes $2.5 million for the Teachers Pursing Excellence program, which will allow educators to mentor and train their peers and receive a stipend. Additionally, the proposal allocates $2.3 million toward prepaid debit cards that teachers can use to buy classroom supplies.
Daugaard Looks to Lower Juvenile Justice Costs: Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) launches a series of recommendations by the state Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Initiative Work Group. Daugaard and Supreme Court Chief Justice David Gilbertson created the group to develop methods for reducing delinquency and recidivism among youth populations. Recommendations include expanding evidence-based community interventions and preventing youth who commit minor offenses from becoming entangled with the juvenile justice system. The recommendations aim to reduce juvenile justice costs and improve outcomes.
McAuliffe Expands Support for Workforce Investment, Youth: Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) announces that the state is the first in the nation to become an Employer of National Service, encouraging AmeriCorps and Peace Corps alumni to put their skills and experience to work for Virginia state government. The effort is a Corporation for National and Community Service initiative. CNCS is the federal agency which administers AmeriCorps, a youth workforce investment program. As part of the announcement, McAuliffe encouraged state agencies to consider the benefit that AmeriCorps and Peace Corps alumni can bring to the state workforce.
State Proposes Increased Oversight of Child Care Facilities: McAuliffe proposes new legislation to increase oversight of child care facilities. The legislation would require subsidized child-care facilities to obtain an operations license and unlicensed facilities would have to provide notification to the department of social services when operating a facility. Additionally, the department would be required to file quarterly reports.
Tomblin Calls for Evidence-Based Approach to Juvenile Justice: Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (R) issues a report from the Intergovernmental Task Force on Juvenile Justice that includes recommendations on how to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the juvenile justice system. The report calls for additional evidence-based community programs to better provide judges the ability to reduce delinquency and hold youth offenders accountable. Additionally, the report recommends expanding early intervention and diversion programs by addressing school truancy and improving data collection and sharing practices to reduce inefficiencies within the system.