Late last week, Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed a partnership agreement with colleges and universities from across the Commonwealth to establish K-12 lab schools.
“Education is the gateway to opportunity. An educated Virginian has a limitless future. And we are about creating future opportunities for every young Virginian. Reestablishing expectations of excellence, funding in the largest education budget, investing in teachers, special education, and localities to invest in facilities,” said Youngkin.
The lab schools, he said, have a specific focus, such as STEM or literacy, or a particular skill or industry. They will create hands-on learning environments to engage students.
“Thank you to all the university presidents, legislators, and school board members, you all play a vital role in the partnership and alignment between K-12 and higher education in order to meet our goal of being the number one education state in the nation,” said Secretary Aimee Guidera. “It is important that all Virginians have access and the opportunity to quality education and outcomes–especially those who have been consistently left out of an excellent education.”
“Education lifted my father out of poverty when he came to America with only $1.75 from Jamaica,” said Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears. “Education lifted me out of poverty as well because I have to find my own way in this world, and education lifts all of us.”
“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,” said Jauvane Adams-Gaston, President of Norfolk State University. “If we do not continue to create success for those who are coming behind then our Commonwealth will not be able to be both successful and a leader in terms of tomorrow.”
“We join our sister institutions in the Virginia Community College system in welcoming the opportunity to partner with school divisions to develop and deliver even more innovative high school programs that address the workforce needs of the Commonwealth specially for students in underserved communities,” said Dr. Paul Pando, President of Reynolds Community College. “We are grateful for the opportunity to contribute our ideas, insight, and yes the passion we bring to this work. This work that is most certainly work worth doing.”