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Tuesday, December 1, 2020
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With Virtual Classrooms Not Reaching All Students, Education Responds to Questions

Now that the fall semester has begun, Virgin Islands students, parents and educators are faced with the challenging realities of distance learning, not least of all that laptops designated for each of the territory's students have not reached everyone.

Senators Move to Extend Distance Learning Options Beyond the Pandemic

Options for distance learning may stick around long after the pandemic ends if legislation advanced Wednesday by the Senate Committee on Education and Workforce Development becomes law.
Sen. Donna Frett-Gregory tells the Senate it's time for the measure to move forward. (Photo by Barry Leerdam, U.S. Virgin Islands Legislature)

Homeschooling Legislation Fails to Pass Committee

The Senate Education and Workforce Development Committee tabled legislation seeking to regulate homeschooling after the bill proved controversial with testifiers.

Public Schools Won’t Reopen Until 2021

Education officials informed senators Thursday that public schools will not be reopening in the fall as planned, and will be entirely virtual for at least the first semester of the school year from September to December. 
Michael Francois, chairman of the Virgin Islands Board of Career and Technical Education, testifies virtually before the Senate Committee on Education and Workforce Development. (Screenshot)

What Happened to Vocational Education in Territory, Senators Ask

The Senate Committee on Education and Work Force Development voted Monday to forward legislation that, if ratified, would strengthen vocational programs and allow high school students to gain experience in their desired career field.
Education Commissioner Racquel Berry-Benjamin testifies during Tuesday’s Senate Committee on Education and Workforce Development meeting. (V.I. Leguslature photo)

VIDE Tells Senate $5 Million in Grants Have Expired

Almost $5 million from federal grants to the V.I. Department of Education expired in 2019, Education Commissioner Racquel Berry-Benjamin told the Senate Committee on Education and Workforce Development Tuesday.

Senators Grill Company Overseeing Educational Grants

Government officials said they didn’t trust Bazilio Cobb Associates, a fiduciary agent contracted to manage the U.S. Department of Education grants for the Virgin Islands Department of Education.
Personnel Director Milton Potter. (2016 file photo from the V.I. Legislature)

Senate May Add Adult Education Grads to Government Scholarship Program

Valedictorians and salutatorians from V.I. Adult Education Centers will be eligible for the small scholarships the V.I. government gives to regular public school vals and sals, if the bill approved in committee on Tuesday becomes law.
Senate President Novelle Francis conducts Monday’s legislative session. (Barry Leerdam, USVI Legislature)

‘Brain Drain’ Bill Held in Committee

Senators voted Tuesday to hold a bill that aims to allow government workers who left regular, protected classified government jobs for high-pay at-will exempt jobs to return to regular, protected government work, if they have 10 years of service.

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