2002 Session

Budget Bill - HB29 (Chapter 814)

Secretary of Education

Item 131

Item 131

First Year - FY2001Second Year - FY2002
Administrative and Support Services (71900)$879,257$630,795
General Management and Direction (71901)FY2001 $879,257FY2002 $630,795
Fund Sources:  
GeneralFY2001 $879,257FY2002 $630,795

Authority: Title 2.1 2.2, Chapter 5.4 2, Article 4; § 2.1-51.10:1 2.2-201, Code of Virginia.

A.1. In furtherance of its work in the development of funding guidelines for public colleges and universities as set forth in Item 1, and pursuant to the recommendations of the Governor's Commission to Evaluate the Needs and Goals of Higher Education in Virginia in the 21st Century, it is the intent of the General Assembly that institutions of higher education develop strategic plans that promote and sustain the quality, access, accountability, and affordability of Virginia's public institutions of higher education.

2. By October 15, 2000, each four-year public institution of higher education, Richard Bland College, and the Virginia Community College System shall submit to the Secretary of Education a progress report on implementing its current strategic plan, including the progress it has made in meeting the following objectives:

a. Improve the quality of instruction, public service, research, and student life;

b. Maximize student access to higher education and minimize the cost to students and the state; and

c. Enhance administrative efficiency and productivity.

3.a. As part of its report, each institution shall evaluate its progress on the objectives identified in the strategic plan and identify the resources needed to meet the objectives. The progress report shall include benchmarks or other measures, where applicable, for use in assessing an institution's progress toward the objectives set out above.

b. The report also shall include proposals for enhancing managerial autonomy and streamlining operations as a means for improving managerial flexibility in meeting its strategic plan objectives.

4. The progress report shall be prepared according to a format approved by the Secretary of Education and the State Council of Higher Education and distributed to institutions no later than July 1, 2000.

5. By December 1, 2000, the Secretary of Education shall report to the Chairmen of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Appropriations Committee on the status of the institutions' strategic plans, including the items enumerated above. Based on the strength of the institutions' strategic plan reports, the Secretary's report may include a recommendation to the 2001 General Assembly on which institutions should be considered for development of specific institutional performance agreements, pursuant to the report of the Governor's Commission to Evaluate the Needs and Goals of Higher Education in Virginia in the 21st Century. Such a recommendation shall include a process for developing an agreement and a plan for incorporating the funding recommendations of the Joint Subcommittee on Higher Education Funding Policies into the performance agreement.

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 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.1. The Distance Learning Steering Committee, established in Item 127 E of Chapter 935, 1999 Acts of Assembly, shall be continued. In carrying out its work, the Committee shall seek support from public and private colleges and universities to assess distance learning issues, including ways to provide for interoperability among institutions for such issues as student application, registration, and transfer of credit. By October 15, 2000, the Steering Committee shall report its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the Chairmen of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees. The report shall include a recommendation on funding needed to improve and expand distance learning and distributed education.

2. This appropriation includes $250,000 the first year from the general fund for the Electronic Campus of Virginia to develop and maintain a comprehensive electronic entry point for on-line higher education courses and programs.

D. The Secretary of Education, with the assistance of the Department of Education and the State Council of Higher Education, shall examine the regulation of proprietary schools to determine the most appropriate agency within the Education Secretariat to regulate these schools. The Secretary of Education shall report the findings and recommendations from this examination to the Governor and the Chairmen of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees by November 15, 2000.

E. The Secretary of Education, in cooperation with the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Commissioner of the Department of Social Services, the Commissioner of the Department of Health and the Director of Juvenile Justice, shall review the Commonwealth's past and present usage of and opportunities for federal grants and funds related to early childhood reading initiatives. In addition, the Secretary shall recommend additional actions to maximize the Commonwealth's utilization of all available funding sources by federal and state government and private sector initiatives aimed at assisting children and their families with early family assisted reading, pre-school programs for early learning, K-3 reading initiatives, and after-school learning assistance programs which will assist children in reading at grade level when they reach third grade. The Secretary shall report the findings to the Governor and the Chairmen of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees by November 1, 2002.

F. 1. Consistent with the authorization provided in § 4-2.01 b. of this act, the boards of visitors or other governing bodies of institutions of higher education shall determine tuition, fees, and charges for each fiscal year of the 2002-2004 biennium; however, the boards of visitors shall make every effort to minimize the tuition and fee increases for in-state undergraduate students. It is expected that tuition increases for undergraduate in-state students shall not exceed nine percent per year.

2. In setting tuition and fee increases for each of the next two fiscal years, the boards of visitors shall consider the following: (a) the consumer price index; (b) in-state tuition charges of each institution's public peer group; (c) the maximization of other revenues by setting tuition rates for out-of-state students, graduate students and first professional students at market rate or higher without adversely affecting the access of in-state students to Virginia’s public colleges and universities; (d) the reflection of the amortized cost of the construction and renovation of buildings approved by the Commonwealth of Virginia Educational Institutions Bond Act of 1992, the 21st Century College Trust and the Building Virginia’s Future capital improvement programs in the tuition and fee rates for nonresident students; (e) the feasibility of setting aside a portion of the tuition increase to provide additional financial aid resources, in combination with state, federal, and private resources; (f) the impact of tuition increases on access and the availability of student aid; and (g) the impact of a tuition increase on the composition of the institution’s applicant pool.

3. In determining tuition and fee charges, the boards of visitors or other governing bodies of institutions of higher education shall (a) make every effort to achieve potential cost savings as opposed to tuition increases; and (b) not increase the current proportion of nonresident undergraduate students if the institution's nonresident undergraduate enrollment exceeds 25 percent.

4. Two-year public institutions are exempt from the restrictions contained in 3(b) above for the 2002-2004 biennium.

5. Norfolk State University, Virginia Military Institute, and Virginia State University are exempt from the restrictions contained in 3(b) above for the 2002-2004 biennium.

6. Each institution shall communicate its policy, as approved by its board of visitors, to the Secretary of Education, the State Council of Higher Education, and the chairmen of the House Appropriations Committee and Senate Finance Committee by May 15, 2002.