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Sales tax holiday coming up in West Virginia, Virginia

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Sales tax holiday coming up in West Virginia, Virginia


BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) – The sales tax holidays are coming up in the two Virginias.

Find the details for each state below.

West Virginia

West Virginia’s holiday will start Friday, August 2 until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, August 5.

According to the WV Tax Division, the following items are exempt from Sales and Use tax during the holiday:

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  • Certain clothing with a purchase price of $125 or less
  • Certain laptop and tablet computers with a purchase price of $500 or less; and
  • Certain school instruction material with a purchase price of $20 or less
  • Certain school supplies with a purchase price of $50 or less
  • Certain sports equipment with a purchase price of $150 or less.

Items purchased for use in a trade or business are not exempt under the sales tax holiday. The total purchase amount is not limited; each individual item determines the qualification.

For more information on WV’s sales tax holiday, click HERE.

Virginia

Virginia’s sales tax holiday is set for August 2, beginning at 12:01 a.m. through August 4, at 11:59 p.m.

According to the Virginia Department of Taxation, you can buy qualifying school supplies, clothing, footwear, hurricane and emergency preparedness items, and Energy Star™ and WaterSense™ products during the holiday.

Find eligible items for Virginia’s sales tax holiday HERE.

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When does school start for some Central Virginia students?

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When does school start for some Central Virginia students?


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — When is the first day of school for some Central Virginia students heading into the 2024-25 academic year?

School is just around the corner for some students in Central Virginia. 8News has compiled a list of dates for when students are expected to attend their first day of school.

Richmond Public Schools

According to Richmond Public Schools’ calendar, the first day of school for RPS 200 students will take place on Monday, July 22, with all other schools to start on Monday, Aug. 19.

Chesterfield County Public Schools

According to Chesterfield County Public Schools’ calendar, students in first through fifth grades at Bellwood Elementary will start school on Monday, July 22.

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Prekindergarten and kindergarten students at Bellwood Elementary will start school on different days based on the letters of their last name. The following is the schedule for these students:

  • Students with last names that start with A-L will attend school on Monday, July 22 and Tuesday, July 23
  • Students with last names that start with M-Z will attend school Wednesday, July 24 and Thursday, July 25
  • All prekindergarten and kindergarten students will attend school daily starting Friday, July 26

The first day of school for all other Chesterfield County Public Schools students in prekindergarten through 5th grades will be Monday, Aug. 19, according to the school district’s calendar.

All prekindergarten and kindergarten students will attend school during the first week, however, there will be a staggered schedule for students.

According to Chesterfield Schools, some prekindergarten and kindergarten students will attend school on Monday, Aug. 19 and Tuesday, Aug. 20, whereas others will attend on Wednesday, Aug. 21 and Thursday, Aug. 22, with schools to assign students to specific days.

Chesterfield Schools said the staggered schedule will allow students to become more familiar with their new surroundings in a smaller classroom setting. All prekindergarten and kindergarten students will report to school daily starting on Friday, Aug. 23.

The first day of school for sixth and ninth-grade students will take place on Monday, Aug. 19, with all other middle and high school students in seventh, eighth, 10th, 11th and 12th grades to start school on Tuesday, Aug. 20.

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Henrico County Public Schools

According to Henrico County Public Schools’ calendar, students will attend their first day of school on Monday, Aug. 19.

Hanover County Public Schools

Kindergarten, first, sixth and ninth grade students of Hanover County Public Schools will begin school on Monday, Aug. 19, with all other students to attend school on Tuesday, Aug. 20, according to the school district’s calendar.

Petersburg City Public Schools

The first day of school for Petersburg City Public Schools students will take place on Monday, Aug. 19, according to the school district’s calendar.

Hopewell City Public Schools

According to the school district’s calendar, the first day of school for Hopewell City Public Schools students will take place on Monday, July 29.

Colonial Heights Public Schools

The first day of school for Colonial Heights Public Schools students will take place on Monday, Aug. 19, according to the school district’s calendar.

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Virginia lawmakers restore military tuition program funding, for now

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Virginia lawmakers restore military tuition program funding, for now


Legislators met on Thursday and passed bills to repeal changes to a college financial aid program for military veterans’ families and designate $90 million towards sustaining it for at least the next two years.

The Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program (VMSDEP) provides education benefits to children and spouses of severely injured or killed veterans. Amid the rising costs of the program in recent years, an effort to downsize it appeared in the state budget that lawmakers passed and Youngkin signed earlier this summer. That move was met with swift pushback from military families, who called for the changes to be reversed.

A point of contention throughout the summer has been who should take the credit — or blame — for the changes, as lawmakers met several times attempting to resolve matters. Members from both parties have acknowledged a desire to fix what several deemed a “mistake,” and to study the matter further.

“Clearly, we did this in the budget and quite a few of us didn’t understand the implications,” Sen. Richard Stuart, R-King George, said during a Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee meeting earlier in the day. “We are trying to fix it.”

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Enter military spouse Kayla Owen, who’s prodded lawmakers all summer to protect the program.

During public comment at the committee meeting, Owen said that she didn’t feel like the day’s proceedings should be something legislators should pat themselves on the back too much for. While speaking to the committee, she urged lawmakers to stop “sneaking contentious or highly controversial legislation through the budget.”

The statement gave Stuart and Sen. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth, pause; they both asked Owen if she’d rather they leave and not pass the bill.

Both in a rebuttal to Owen and in an interview with media after the committee meeting, Lucas stressed that the changes to the program originally stemmed from the governor’s administration.

“Nothing was tucked into my budget,” Lucas said. “The bill came out of the governor’s office. So I just want to make sure I cleared that up.”

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Curious about details leading up to the now-repealed changes to the program, Owen has sought internal communications from the governor’s office for insights into how the changes came about in the first place. Despite being a member of a task force Gov. Glenn Youngkin created to study the program and its future sustainability, Owen’s Freedom of Information Act request was denied.

After the legislature’s actions, Youngkin signed the bills and said in a statement he and lawmakers “took the necessary step to reverse and fully repeal changes to VMSDEP and provided significant new funding for the program. We will continue our work to make Virginia the best place for our military, veterans, first responders and their families to live, work, raise a family, and retire.”

Beyond the bills passed Thursday to continue funding the program for two years, Virginia’s Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission will conduct a study and Youngkin’s task force will analyze the program, as well.

Owen said she hopes the situation will encourage lawmakers to stop using the budget to legislate, as changes to VMSDEP done through a standalone bill originally would have been able to undergo a robust committee process. She suggested that the original VMSDEP changes were made “under the cloak of darkness.”

“Everybody’s blaming each other and it’s like that Hamilton song ‘Room Where It Happens’ — nobody else is in the room where it happens!”

With the matter resolved for now, lawmakers will have their eyes on the various groups that are analyzing VMSDEP. As the costs of the program rise, Lucas stressed that lawmakers need to figure out how to make sure it can last for future generations.

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“[The passage of bills on Thursday] will allow us to have a solution while we await results from the JLARC study and other groups to ensure that the program is sustainable in the long term,” Lucas said.

When the legislature reconvenes for its 2025 session, it could take up adjustments to the program.

For Owen, who has spearheaded military families’ advocacy for keeping the program, she said Thursday’s actions are “a sigh of relief until January.”

Virginia Mercury is part of States Newsroom, a nonprofit news network supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Virginia Mercury maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Samantha Willis for questions: info@virginiamercury.com. Follow Virginia Mercury on Facebook and X.





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Four districts in 4 months: Central Virginia schools grapple with superintendent turnover

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Four districts in 4 months: Central Virginia schools grapple with superintendent turnover


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The recent departure of several school superintendents across Central Virginia has sparked concerns and raised questions about the stability of educational leadership within the region.

Over the past few months, four school districts — Petersburg, Prince George County, Chesterfield County and Hanover County — have all seen their superintendents step down for various reasons, leaving their respective districts without permanent leaders as the new school year approaches.

The issue first came to the forefront in Petersburg, where superintendent Tamara Sterling announced her resignation in March after just over a year in the role.

Her departure was followed by Acting Superintendent John Farrelly, who resigned in June to take a new position with Caroline County Schools.

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Yolanda Brown has since been appointed as the acting superintendent, tasked with stabilizing the district until Oct. 31. She shared a 100-day entry plan with community members at a meeting on Wednesday, July 17.

Cool Springs Elementary School PTA President Lakeisha Tinsley said they need someone to stay in the role, so the district can experience long-term, positive change.

“Because we know getting Petersburg is a lot of issues, but I feel like we really can make the change if the person wants to make the change,” Tinsley said.

Chesterfield County faces a similar scenario, as Mervin B. Daugherty retired on April 9 after nearly six years as superintendent and a distinguished 50-year career in education.

The district is currently in the process of finding a replacement.

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In Prince George County, Lisa Pennycuff announced her retirement on April 19, citing personal reasons related to family care.

The school board has appointed Joseph O. Cox Jr. as the acting superintendent while they search for a permanent successor.

The Prince George County School Board will be conducting interviews for the position of superintendent from Aug. 7 to Aug. 21, according to Prince George County Public Schools.

Most recently, Michael Gill announced his resignation as superintendent of Hanover County Schools, citing the school board’s new objectives as a catalyst for his decision to step down after nearly a decade in the role.

Kimberly Bridges, a professor of educational leadership at VCU who specialized in K-12, emphasized the complexities of the superintendent role, noting that districts with higher levels of poverty and racial segregation tend to have shorter superintendent tenures.

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“The students that need that stability and that longer tenure for real, deep change to happen are the ones that are getting that the least,” Bridges said.

According to Bridges, these searches can be time-consuming, especially if districts opt for national searches to attract diverse and qualified candidates. It’s also difficult for a school district to thrive when they don’t have a permanent leader.

“It takes a little while to make sure the measures they’re putting in place [are] paying off in student outcomes,” Bridges said. “So, that’s the biggest barrier for an interim, time to get to know everyone and build relationships.”

She emphasized that the superintendent job is not easy, nor able to be done by just anyone.

“If folks are looking at other opportunities, you can’t really blame them because, in some respects, it’s a tough job,” Bridges said. “But, in other respects, we got to work harder to find people who want to be there for the long run.”

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As Central Virginia prepares for the upcoming academic year starting on Aug. 19, the focus remains on stabilizing leadership and ensuring a seamless transition for students and staff alike.



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