Connect with us

Local News

Lab schools in Western Virginia must meet extra requirements in order to obtain financing



Roanoke, Virginia – In order to secure state financing, three lab schools in western Virginia must comply with a new rule by the end of the month.

Earlier this year, the applications from Mountain Gateway Community College, Roanoke College, Emory and Henry College, and others were approved by the state board of education. However, new budget language stipulates that public universities offering four-year degrees must build lab schools.

To address regional needs, local partners are being brought together by all three schools.

The Southwest Virginia Heals program at Emory and Henry College will train high school students for professions in healthcare. The MG-Tec program at Mountain Gateway Community College will provide information technology training and certificates. Additionally, more students will be inspired to pursue a college education by Roanoke College’s Explore@RC lab school.

After the schools’ petitions were accepted, the Virginia Board of Education granted funding to each of the three. However, the budget wording now mandates that community colleges and private colleges form partnerships with public four-year universities.

A member of the Virginia Board of Education inquired this week about the potential implications for already approved monies.

Board member Anne Holton questioned, “So it’s possible that some of the programs that have already been approved, some of those funds could conceivably come back into the hopper?” A staff member from the Department of Education replied, “We hope not, but that of course is a possibility.”

All three institutions claim they are still going ahead with their plans, despite the budget language requiring them to find qualifying partners by June 30th.

It doesn’t seem like this new criterion will stop any of the lab schools that have already received approval, since all three institutions intend to open their doors this autumn.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *