Virginia is moving ahead with a plan to create a new type of school that involves unique partnerships called “lab schools.”
Virginia Gov. Glen Youngkin announced the plan Thursday. The partnerships would be between public and private universities and colleges, as well as private companies and local K-12 schools.
He added that the lab schools — which have a specific focus, such as STEM or literacy, or a particular skill or industry — will create learning environments that engage students in hands-on learning.
“Education is the gateway to opportunity. An educated Virginian has a limitless future. And we are about creating future opportunities for every young Virginian,” Youngkin said in a statement. “Reestablishing expectations of excellence, funding in the largest education budget, investing in teachers, special education, and localities to invest in facilities,”
Under current law, only colleges or universities with teacher education programs are permitted to create lab schools with localities.
Younkin also said that he is hoping the state’s historically Black colleges and universities will be major participants. Javaune Adams-Gaston, president of Norfolk State University attended the announcement ceremony.
“Nothing is more important to us in the HBCU world, higher education world, the Commonwealth, than the education of our students and the opportunities that provides,” Adams-Gaston said.
Right now there are no lab-type schools in Virginia. Youngkin wants to use $150 million from the state budget to support the program.