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Virginia Department of Education releases new quality standards

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RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia Board of Education has released new Standards of Quality for the commonwealth's public schools. 

According to NBC 12, the Standards of Quality lay out the foundation for instructional programs and support services that all schools are required to provide. They also drive about 85% of state funding for school divisions.  

The new standards reportedly work to promote education equity, support teacher recruitment and retention as well as helping students and schools reach the Board's graduation and accreditation requirements. 

Revisions from past standards include consolidating some existing state programs into a single, expanded funding stream known as the Equity Fund, within the Standards of Quality. 

Here are some of the new standards: 

  • Moving K-3 class size reduction program from Annual Appropriation Act into the Standards of Quality 
  • Increasing state funding for reading specialists 
  • Moving support for reading specialists from Annual Appropriation Act to Standards of Quality 
  • Establishing new teacher leader program and expanding the commonwealth's existing teacher mentor program 
  • Amending staffing requirements for English learner teachers 
  • Setting specific staffing rations in the Standards of Quality for school nurses, social workers and school psychologists 
  • Providing state funding for state-level and regional work-based learning coordinators 
  •  Creating a statewide principal mentorship program to strengthen school leadership 
  • Providing state support for one full-time school counselor for every 250 students 
  • Requiring a full-time principal in every elementary school 
  • Requiring a full-time assistant principal for every 400 students 

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