Delegate Peace joins House Colleagues as they Unveil the K-12 Public Education Agenda for 2012 Session

Central Virginia- The weekly Republican Caucus press conference held this morning featured various proposals from members of the House Republican Caucus, including Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R-Hanover), the host of the weekly House Republican Caucus press conference. Peace discussed House Bill 765, a measure which would allow any institution of higher education in Virginia to operate a college partnership laboratory school The House Republican Caucus was joined by Bill Thomas, Associate Vice President of Hampton University, for their weekly Policy Work Group press conference, this week discussing various K-12 initiatives the Caucus has introduced this session.

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.

"In 2010, the General Assembly passed legislation enabling public colleges and universities in Virginia to team with approved teacher-preparation programs in an effort to establish college partnership laboratory schools throughout the Commonwealth. This legislation would permit more partnerships between Virginia's higher educational institutions and K-12 public divisions, in turn increasing choices for K-12 students statewide," said Peace. "Laboratory schools allow local divisions to offer greater opportunities for innovative instruction and assessment methods - customizing and improving the educational experience for all of our students. 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."

The House Republican Caucus Policy Work Group will hold a press conference each Monday at 11:00 am.