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Director Amalia Ulman acts alongside her real mother in “El Planeta,” a ferociously pointed satire about two women with severely limited funds…

When it comes to spending for schools, the devil is in the formula. Virginia matches the school dollars provided by the localities, so poorer localities not only have less money, they also get less from the state. So the poor get poorer.

The school infrastructure crisis in Virginia is well-documented and longstanding. The most recent data provided by VDOE shows that the total cost to replace schools that are at least 50 years old would carry a price tag of more than $25 billion.

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Unfortunately, meal points or money added to a meal plan usually don’t roll over from year to year — if you don’t use the money, you lose it. If the school gives first-years an option to choose their meal plan, it’s best to start low and see how much your student needs. Many colleges give you the opportunity to replenish meal-plan funds midyear. You could also supplement a student’s meal plan with gift cards to local grocery stores or restaurants. You can buy gift cards at

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House Appropriations Chairman Luke Torian, D-Prince William, predicted a surplus between $1.5 billion and $2 billion on Wednesday, but Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne quickly upped the ante to the top of the range, based on corporate income taxes received in the middle of this month.

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