Bills to Create College Laboratory Schools Passes

-- HB 1389 Successful with Solid Bipartisan Support—-- Companion Bill Passes Senate --

CENTRAL VA – Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R-Mechanicsville) is delighted to announce that House Bill 1389, a measure which establishes college partnership laboratory schools within public colleges and universities for the particular purpose of stimulating the development of innovative public education programs in institutions of higher education through collaboration with K-12 educational systems today passed the House by a vote of 77-20 with bipartisan support.

The companion measure, Senate Bill 736 patroned by Senator Steve Newman (R-Lynchburg) passed by a vote of 25-15. HB 1389 and SB 736 are legislative initiatives contained in Governor Bob McDonnell’s “The Opportunity to Learn” Legislative Package.

A College Partnership Laboratory School is a public, nonsectarian, nonreligious school established by a public institution of higher education operating in the Commonwealth which maintains and operates a teacher education program approved by the Board of Education. Virginia currently has 14 approved sites including but not limited to James Madison University, University of Virginia, Old Dominion University, and George Mason University.

Lab partnerships offer options and innovation for all Virginia school children, but especially those who are disadvantaged or at-risk. College lab schools give students more opportunities and parents more options for their child’s public education. These schools have worked in the past and there is currently interest within the higher education community to open College Partnership Laboratory Schools. Each lab school would have a governing board that is party to the contract with the Board of Education. This board would be under the control of the college or university establishing the lab school and its members are selected by the higher education institute.

College lab schools shall receive such funds as may be appropriated by the General Assembly in accordance with the appropriations act; they will not receive a portion of any locality’s share of education dollars. The governing board of a laboratory school is authorized to accept gifts, donations, or grants of any kind and to spend such funds in accordance with the conditions prescribed by the donor. Schools are also eligible to apply for and receive available funds from the state non-reverting College Partnership Laboratory School Fund and the sponsoring institution of higher education.

“The firm bipartisan support by which this measure passed shows a dedication to increasing opportunities and choices within our public education system,” asserted Delegate Peace. “Providing educational options through utilizing the strengths and talents at the Commonwealth’s colleges and universities are necessary steps toward assuring academic success for our youngest citizens.”

Delegate Christopher K. Peace was elected to his third term representing the 97th District of the Virginia House of Delegates. The District includes parts of Hanover, Caroline, King William, King and Queen, Henrico, Spotsylvania Counties and all of New Kent County.