Expanded school choice passes in Virginia

Expanded school choice passes in Virginia

This provides a pathway to success for more kids

Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed state budget bills into law on Tuesday, and in doing so significantly expanded a school choice pathway in Virginia. 

For the first time, private colleges will be allowed to open College Partnership Laboratory Schools, while more public universities will now have a practical pathway to participate as well. 

Similar to charter schools authorized by institutions of higher education, these lab schools will provide residents of the Commonwealth with new alternatives to traditional public schools. 

The measure passed on a 19-19 vote in the Senate, with Lt. Governor Winsome Earle-Sears casting the tie-breaking vote. The program has been allocated $100 million to turbo charge its implementation.  

Earlier this year, Youngkin spoke of his support for lab schools. “I do see this opportunity for us to bring businesses who have particular training or long-term needs for workforce to actually give advice or counsel for what kind of curriculum might best fit,” Youngkin said.

An attempt to cut the Education Improvement Scholarship Tax Credit was also rolled back, protecting an important existing school choice program in the Commonwealth.

Education has long been a priority for Youngkin’s administration. “Education is the gateway to opportunity,” Youngkin said in a January statement. 

“An educated Virginian has a limitless future. And we are about creating future opportunities for every young Virginian. Reestablishing expectations of excellence, funding in the largest education budget, investing in teachers, special education, and localities to invest in facilities.”

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