A piece of legislation could help Virginia students gain valuable skills they can use in the workforce.
Virginia Senator Jeremy McPike spoke about a new law at the Prince William Chamber of Commerce’s Education and Innovation Committee meeting on Tuesday.
The legislation, which took effect July 1, allows school districts to waive the requirement of a student receiving 140 instructional hours if they have finished the course work and Standards of Learning (SOL) exam.
In place of the extra instructional time, students can gain skills and earn certifications for various industries, such as information technology (IT).
“There’s various industry needs, requirements all across Virginia,” McPike said at the meeting, which took place in Manassas. “This is just a flexible way that local school a boards can adapt once they’ve identified certificate programs that are available.”
It also allows school districts to partner with community organizations and businesses.
“From a Commonwealth standpoint, we’re hoping to continue to build those sort of relationships,” McPike said.
Waiving the requirement is not mandated.
“It’s a local option,” McPike said. “It’s just a tool that they can utilize, once they get the program in place.”
Meeting attendees also learned about Military Child Education Coalition, a global non-profit.
The coalition seeks to make sure that military kids are receiving quality education.
“We support our military and veteran-connected children, because we want to ensure that they are college, workforce and — ultimately — life ready. And we do it for the sake of the child, one child at a time,” said Dalena Kanouse from the Military Child Education Coalition.
The 20-year-old organization also helps parents receive the information needed to move their child from one school to another.
“We want to empower them to be able to be knowledgeable enough, to be able to get through the system … to help their child,” Kanouse said. “Because one school district in one state may be different from the other one.”
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