Bolling discusses new goals in education
Friday, December 14, 2012
Danville Register & Bee
As a symbol to show the importance of education on the state's economy, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling visited Danville on Friday to discuss the All Students initiative - a newly announced plan from the governor's office on K-12 education.
Bolling is the state's Chief Jobs Creation Officer and said he wanted the support of business leaders in this educational endeavor because the two go hand-in-hand.
"Education is the foundation of economic development," said Bolling, who was hosted by the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research.
Some of the major parts of the initiative include a 2 percent pay raise for Virginia teachers, librarians, aides and principals, allocating more than $800,000 in incentives to attract, recruit and retain teachers in subjects of science, technology, engineering, math and health (STEM-H) and procuring $15 million in grants for school divisions to create strategic ways to compensate and reward teachers for furthering their professional development.
But, Bolling said, for these benefits, the state would ask for more accountability in return. Part of the initiative includes a proposal to extend the probationary period for teachers from three years to five years and have more focus on teaching success in the classroom.
Bolling emphasized that STEM-H subjects will be targeted hard for enhancement in the future and new ways of teaching - including virtual classrooms will be seriously looked at as a new tool.
The lieutenant governor cited several facts to show why these were areas of focus. For example, of 34 advanced nations in the world, the U.S. students rank 17th in science and 25th in math.
Now the governor's office is trying to work to improve these areas and prepare the future workforce for the most in-demand jobs.
"If there is one major complaint we've heard in the last three years it's workforce, workforce, workforce," said Bolling, who added that once workforce training is started in college it is often too late. The focus must be placed on K12 education.
This belief is also being pushed locally, with new programs in the Danville and Pittsylvania County school divisions focusing on work force training and STEM-H subjects being development and emphasized more than ever before.
For additional information contact Ibbie Hedrick at 804-225-2487 or firstname.lastname@example.org.