1999 Session

Budget Bill - HB1450 (Chapter 935)

Secretary of Education

Item 127

Item 127

First Year - FY1999Second Year - FY2000
Administrative and Support Services (71900)$734,601
General Management and Direction (71901)FY1999 $734,601
FY2000 $538,443
Fund Sources:  
GeneralFY1999 $734,601
FY2000 $538,443

Authority: Title 2.1, Chapter 5.4; § 2.1-51.10:1, Code of Virginia.

A. By October 1 of each year each public institution of higher education and the Community College System shall submit to the Secretary of Education and the State Council of Higher Education a report on progress toward implementing its strategic plan. Such plans should continue to pursue the principles of restructuring, accountability, and efficiency and include an assessment of the effectiveness of academic programs. The progress reports shall be prepared according to a format approved by the Secretary of Education and the State Council of Higher Education. A presentation on the progress of institutions in implementing their plans shall be made by the Secretary and the State Council of Higher Education to the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees at their regularly scheduled meetings in November of each year.

B. The Secretary of Education is hereby authorized to make allocations to qualified zone academies of the portion of the national zone academy bond limitation amount to be allocated annually to the Commonwealth of Virginia pursuant to Section 1397E of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and to provide for carryovers of any unused limitation amount. In making such allocations, the Secretary of Education is directed to give priority to allocation requests for qualified zone academies having at least 50 35 percent free lunch participation and either (i) located in federal enterprise communities or (ii) located in cities and counties within which federal enterprise communities are located.

C. This appropriation includes $200,000 $100,000 the first year from the general fund to plan innovative or alternative schools.

D. The Secretary of Education shall assist the Department of Education in developing a plan that affords school divisions the flexibility in hiring nontraditional classroom teachers as described in Item 129, paragraph Q, of this act.

E.1. There is hereby created a Distance Learning Steering Committee to serve in an advisory capacity to the Governor and the General Assembly on distance learning, with the objective of making courses and degree programs more accessible through distance learning for citizens of Virginia. The membership of the Steering Committee shall include the Secretary of Education or his designee; the Secretary of Technology or his designee; the Director of the Department of Planning and Budget or his designee; the Director of the State Council of Higher Education or his designee; four representatives from Virginia public institutions of higher education and one representative of the private institutions, as appointed by the Governor based upon the recommendations of Boards of Visitors and private colleges; one representative designated by the Co-chairmen of the House Appropriations Committee; one representative designated by the Co-chairmen of the Senate Finance Committee; and two members of the Governor's Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education, as appointed by the Governor. In carrying out its work, the Committee shall be supported by the members of the Electronic Campus of Virginia, who shall advise the Committee on issues concerning distance learning.

2. The purposes of the Steering Committee are to: (1) recommend appropriate policies for implementing and delivering academic courses and programs between and among institutions of higher education through electronic media; (2) assess the benefits of using a consortium of institutions in making quality educational degree programs widely available to the people of Virginia at affordable costs; and (3) develop recommendations on related issues such as the transfer of course credits, development of appropriate tuition rates and the transfer of tuition funds, including incentives which can be used to increase the number of courses offered via distance learning.

3. The member institutions of the Electronic Campus of Virginia are directed to continue efforts toward the development of proposals demonstrating: (1) collaboration among individual Virginia institutions; (2) a complete undergraduate or graduate degree program based on a core curriculum; (3) effective utilization of electronic media to provide access to academic courses and degrees at sites across the Commonwealth at affordable costs; and (4) cooperation with the Southern Regional Electronic Campus. The Electronic Campus shall be responsible for raising with the Steering Committee those issues, obstacles, or opportunities that may arise in the development of such proposals, and offer recommendations to the Steering Committee regarding implementation of proposals.

4. It is the intent of the General Assembly that by September 1, 2000, the Steering Committee shall report its findings and recommendations to the Governor and to the Chairmen of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees.