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High school on-time graduation rates on the rise

Virginia education officials say on-time high school graduation rates increased under the Class of 2012. According to Virginia Department of Education numbers released Oct. 23, 88 percent (85,359 of 97,023) of state public school students who entered ninth grade in fall of 2008 earned a diploma within four years. Of those students, more than 55 percent earned an Advanced Studies Diploma.

More good news was seen in statewide dropout rates, which fell from 7.2 percent for the Class of 2011 to 6.5 percent for the Class of 2012.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright gave credit to teachers, administrators and other public educators who added students in completing their diploma requirements.

Among student cohorts, the on-time graduation rate for black students increased 2.4 points to 82.7 percent. Hispanic students also saw gains of 1.8 points, to 80.9 percent. Both student cohorts saw decreases in dropout rates as well with black student rates falling from 10.9 percent to 9.3 percent and Hispanics from 14.9 percent to 13.6 percent.

In Fairfax County, public school on-time four-year graduation rates beat statewide averages. The county’s Class of 2012 boasted a 91.3 percent rate. A total of 8,375 FCPS seniors (61.4 percent) obtained an Advanced Studies Diploma, also besting the state’s 48.8 percent average.

“Fairfax County continues to rank near the top among Virginia school divisions and I commend our teachers, students, parents and school leaders for their efforts to maintain high graduation rates,” said FCPS Superintendent Jack D. Dale. “Graduating from high school is a critical step on the path to college and career success. However, our work is not complete until every student in the county obtains a Virginia high school diploma.”

Survey says Fairfax County residents support transportation funding

Fairfax County residents are very supportive of finding additional revenue sources to meet the county’s transportation needs, according to the preliminary results of a recent county survey. The county’s transportation staff held nine public meetings to help educate the public about the county’s transportation funding needs and conducted an online survey that generated about 1,700 responses.

About 85 percent of survey respondents said they would support “a countywide effort” to identify a source of revenue to meet transportation needs. About 62 percent said they would support using local dollars to supplement VDOT’s road maintenance funding, something the county has not done in the past.

Preferred sources of revenue included developer contributions (79 percent), vehicle rental tax (67 percent), hotel tax (63 percent) and an increased gas tax (60 percent).

The Board of Supervisors plans to incorporate the survey results in their legislative package, which they will adopt later this year, to support the county’s lobbying efforts in Richmond.

DMV customer service van to stop at government center

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles’ DMV 2 Go customer service van will be at the Fairfax County Government Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday. The Government Center is located at 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax. DMV 2 Go will be parked near the front of the building.

DMV 2 Go offers all DMV services, incuding vehicle titles and license plates, driver’s licenses and state ID cards, address changes and PIN requests to set up an online myDMV account.