2015 Session

Budget Amendments - SB800 (Member Request)

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Chief Patron: Stosch
VA Preschool Initiative-Joint Subcommittee on Reform (language only)

Item 136 #6s

Item 136 #6s

Education: Elementary and Secondary
Direct Aid To Public Education

Page 138, after line 9, insert:
"f. A Joint Subcommittee on Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) Reform shall be comprised of members of the Education Subcommittees of the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Finance Committee to provide recommendations for revisions and reform of the Virginia Preschool Initiative to increase accountability, flexibility, innovation, and facilitate partnerships between public schools and Virginia’s private providers to ensure effective financing and policy solutions for VPI. Based on research regarding teacher competencies most associated with strong learning outcomes for young children, the Joint Subcommittee will also provide recommendations on the development of a competency-based professional development framework for early learning practitioners in all types of both public and private early learning settings.
The work of the Joint Subcommittee will be facilitated by the staff of the Education Subcommittees of the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation will provide support and resources to the members and staff of the Joint Subcommittee. Other stakeholders include representatives from the Virginia Department of Education, the Virginia Department of Social Services, the Virginia Community College System, local school divisions, private and faith-based child care providers, accrediting organizations, education associations, and business. A report of recommendations will be due to the full House Appropriations Committee and Senate Finance Committee by November 1, 2015."

(This amendment established a temporary Joint Subcommittee on VPI Reform to provide recommendations for reforming the Virginia Preschool Initiative and establishing a competency-based professional development pathway for early learning practitionersis self-explanatory. The current legislative intent of the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) is to ensure access to high-quality preschool for all free lunch-eligible four-year olds. Each year about one-third of the estimated funding for VPI is not utilized by localities due to barriers such as local match requirements and insufficient space in schools. While demand for high-quality preschool for at-risk four-year-olds grows each year, persistent challenges limit access by localities across the state. To comprehensively address these barriers, a new business model for VPI is needed to ensure effective, targeted financing and policies that promote flexibility, innovation and public-private partnerships. Regardless of the setting, whether a school-based public preschool program or a private child care center, improved child outcomes and healthy development require a highly effective and skilled early care workforce. To promote a robust public-private mixed delivery system for preschool, a competency based professional development framework is needed for early learning practitioners across the state.)