Governor Announces Planning Grant Awards As A Result of Peace Education Reform Measure

- College Lab Partnerships Now Provide Educational Options at the Commonwealth's Private Colleges & Universities-

Central Virginia- Building upon his successful legislation in 2010, Delegate Chris Peace successfully patroned a second phase of the Governor's "Opportunity to Learn" legislation in 2012 with House Bill 765 to allow for private institutions of higher education in Virginia to operate a college partnership laboratory school.

"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,” said Peace.

Today the Governor announced the winners of the first round of planning grant awards for such ventures. These awards will enable colleges and universities in Virginia to team with approved teacher-preparation programs in an effort to establish college partnership laboratory schools throughout the Commonwealth.  With this legislation and subsequent awards, partnerships will be established between Virginia's higher educational institutions and K-12 public divisions, increasing choices for K-12 students statewide.

The winners of the 2012 Virginia College/University Partnership Laboratory School Application Planning Grants are:

•George Mason University ($145,500)

•James Madison University ($228,000)

•Longwood University ($86,000)

•Virginia State University ($140,000)

Eligible applicants were public institutions of higher education that operate a teacher education program approved by the Virginia Board of Education. Administered by the Office of the Secretary of Education, the planning grants are designed to enhance teacher education and training as part of the Governor’s “Opportunity to Learn” agenda to improve K-12 education and will provide more flexibility, innovation and autonomy outside the traditional public school system.

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.