Capitol Comments

Tennessee joins Iowa and Michigan as being named an "All Star Vet State."  State Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder and Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips showcased their collaborative focus on veteran employment which gained them the coveted title.  As part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Hiring Our Heroes initiative this pilot program includes a web-portal designed to assist veterans and active-duty service members around the country quickly access state resource.

The rate of child poverty has only slightly lowered since the 1960's when President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a war on poverty and currently hovers around 22 percent.  In 2012, 1 in 5 children were identified as poor.  Good nutrition, especially in the early years of a child's life, is vital to create the foundation for future physical and mental health.  According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nearly 16 million chlidren under age 18 live in homes where they can't consistenly access an adequate amount of healthy and nutritious food.  However, trillions of calories are wasted or lost on a yearly basis.

With help from a $25 million U.S. Department of Labor grant the Montana University System will overhaul the state's community colleges and increase the speed at which skilled workers enter the workforce.  The goal of the grant is to fill job shortages in a number of emerging manufacturing fields and change how students earn a training certificate.  

On Monday, the Tennessee Senate expressed their approval for the Veterans Education Transition Support Act, or Tennessee VETS ACT, by a 30-0 vote.  If the House also approves military veterans could attend state public colleges and universities at the in-state tuition rate.

With the mounting snow days in New Jersey the Pascack Valley Regional High School District took a new approach to learning.  Instead of adding another day with no instruction Superintendent Erik Gundersen made the bold decision to utilize students' district-issued laptops as the vehicle to provide lessons. 

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