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Priceless Vol 7 Number 1


Personal and Professional Empowerment www.hamptonroadsmessenger.com


Anne Holton Tours Norfolk State University


Page 8


New School Year Brings More Cuts in State Funding for Schools


BY PHIL OLIFF, CHRIS MAI, AND MICHAEL LEACHMAN


States have


made steep cuts to education funding since the start of the recession and, in many states, those cuts deepened over the last year. Elementary and high schools are receiving less state funding in the 2012-13 school year than they did last year in 26 states, and in 35 states school funding now stands below 2008 levels — often far below.


States made these cuts


after the deepest recession in 70 years hit beginning in late 2007, precipitating a historic collapse in state revenues. Because states relied heavily on spending reductions in response to the recession, rather than on a more balanced mix of spending cuts and revenue increases, funding for schools and other public services fell sharply. While emergency aid from the federal government reduced the severity of cuts to school funding in the years immediately following the onset of the recession, Congress allowed that aid largely to expire at the end of the 2011 fiscal year, before state revenues had recovered from the recession.


Our review of budget documents for the 48 states that


7 Cities in 7 Months Small Business Workshop in Suffolk


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Free September 2012 Serving Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach since 2006


NFL Commits $30 Million to Support Medical Research


SBA and FDIC to Present at Small Business Conference in Chesapeake


@ BY A. R. WILLIS Hampton Roads’ small business


population is gearing up for one of the most important small business conferences to ever come to the 757. The 2012 Small Businesses Thinking Big Conference, to be held at the Chesapeake Conference Center on October 31, 2012, is already creating a buzz in the area. With the sluggish job market, entrepreneur- ialism is becoming more common among people looking to trade in the corporate ladder for a seat as CEO of their own start-up.


On October 31, established businesses,


publish education budget data in a way that allows historic comparisons finds that:


• Twenty-six states are providing less funding per student to local school districts in the new school year than they provided a year ago. These funding cuts have been modest, but, in many states, they come on top of severe cuts made in previous years.


• Some states are beginning to restore their school funding over the past year, but those restorations are, for the most part, far from sufficient to make up for cuts in past years. For example, Florida is increasing school funding by $273 per pupil this year. But that is not nearly enough to offset the state’s $569 per-pupil cut over the previous four years.


SCHOOL CUTS PAGE 11 THIS EDITION’S HIGHLIGHTS


Your Opinion Editorial Career Opportunities Hampton Roads Upcoming Events Scholarships Watch


Hail to the Chief’s Popularity Did Apple Dupe Us All?


Become a State Farm Agent Chesapeake Unveils New Natural Gas Station Suffolk Peanut Fest Parade Create-A-Greeting-Card Scholarship


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as well as recent start-ups, will converge on the city of Chesapeake for a day of innovative ideas and informative workshops designed to electrify the already warming small business atmosphere in Hampton Roads. The Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) are the main presenters for the conference. This year’s workshops will offer a wealth of information on everything from small business funding options and effective business plan writing,


Small Businesses Thinking Oct. 31


BIG2 0 1 2


Auto Loans: Test Drive the Financing Before You Go to the Dealership


For most consumers, an auto


loan is their biggest monthly expense after their mortgage or rent payment. That’s why, when you’re thinking about buying a car, it’s as important to research the loan as it is to check out sales prices and gas mileage. Here are some strategies to consider.


Before Going to the Dealership Review your credit reports


from each of the three major credit bureaus long before you apply for a loan. Something as simple as fixing mistakes in your report — for example, correcting erroneous information that indicates you made late payments when you always paid on time — may qualify you for a smaller down payment or a lower interest rate.


Under federal law, consumers are


entitled to a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three major bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Since the information can vary significantly among those three companies, obtain copies from all three. To order your free copies, go to www. AnnualCreditReport.com or call toll-free 1-877-322-8228.


Think carefully about how much you can afford to pay for a car. Your monthly payment


will depend on the term (length) of your loan, the interest rate and the amount you borrow. In most cases, what you borrow will be the price you pay for the car plus any options you select minus your down payment and the value of any trade-in. In addition, consider the charges for car insurance, property and sales taxes, as well as registration, inspection and title fees.


An alternative to buying a car is leasing


one for a few years. Monthly lease payments can be lower than monthly loan payments, but at the end of the lease you won’t own the car. And if you need a car just once in a while, consider using a service that rents for periods as short as an hour.


Shop for a loan at your bank and several other lenders. Find out about the types of


AUTO LOANS PAGE 3 HAMPTONoROADS, VIRGINIA SMALL BUSINESS CONFERENCE


to information on why every small business owner should have an estate plan.


“Small businesses are the key to getting


our economy back on track again,” says Amy Burger, Assistant Event Coordinator for Messenger Media, the organizer behind this event. “That is why we have seen such a great response for the Thinking Big Conference. We all want to see America successful, and small business success is a very important component of private sector growth.”


The 2012 Small Businesses Thinking


Big Conference will contain many aspects, including a community forum to discuss the


CONFERENCE PAGE 14


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