Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Governor adds clarity to takeover of failing schools

Governor McDonnell sent amendments to the General Assembly on the Opportunity Educational Institution bill to further improve and clarify the legislation. This student-centered legislation places the interests of the student first and ensures students facing some of the most difficult challenges will have access to the best resources to accelerate school improvement. The legislation will allow the state to intervene in cases of chronic failure. On July 1st, Virginia will establish a statewide Opportunity Educational Institution Board to provide a high-quality education solution for children attending chronically failing schools. Starting in 2014-2015 school year the Board will begin supervising the turnaround of Virginia schools that have been denied accreditation. Following a blueprint that has proven successful in Tennessee’s Achievement School District, the substitute clearly explains how schools can enter and exit the supervision of the OEI Board. 

The substitute principally deals with authority granted to the OEI Board and the operations of the Institution. Operational efficiency will allow for unwavering focus on the students and the academic improvement needed for the school overall. The substitute clarifies that the power is vested in the board and the institution is the tool by which the board turns around failing schools. Further clarification as to property, maintenance, staffing and the OEI’s ability to enter into contracts. While the board maintains nine members, now one citizen member is required to have experience with non-traditional schools in addition to the seats reserved turnaround and former educators.

This game-changing legislation will ensure all students have the best opportunity to learn. If a school is chronically failing, the institution will provide much needed intervention. The administration received valuable feedback from key stakeholders, legislators, educators and turnaround experts in crafting the amendments.

Last update for the night.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Education, Politics, State Politics

Tags: , , ,

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