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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

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Workforce summit mandate legislation killed in committee
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Del. Charles Poindexter

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

By K.A. WAGONER - Staff Writer

A bill to require school divisions to hold an annual workforce summit was killed in the House Elementary and Secondary Education Subcommittee last week.

The bill, sponsored by Del. Charles Poindexter (R-Glade Hill), would have required school divisions to host formal discussions with local businesses regarding the skills needed in the local workforce and the readiness of graduates for the workforce.

Franklin County School Superintendent Mark Church asked Poindexter to consider an amendment to the bill that would include Career and Technical Education (CTE) Advisory Committees.

CTE programs are required to have local advisory committees composed of local business and industry members, Church said. This committee advises the local CTE director on skill sets needed for the local workforce and demands to meet the local business community needs. 

"It is very important that a school board understands that CTE program offerings at the middle and secondary level provide the opportunities for students to be career ready for local workforce needs, as well as college ready," Church said. "I believe that school boards should be kept abreast of workforce skills and trends. It may be adequate for the CTE administrator to provide information that includes workforce data from a variety of resources without the need for a formal summit."

"I was disappointed my HB677 failed to get out of subcommittee," Poindexter said this week. "This is a common sense proposal. Everyone agreed it was a good idea.... Yet the School Board Association and others opposed it because it is a mandate."

Poindexter was pleased, however, that HB63, often referred to as the Tebow bill, passed the House of Delegates by a vote of 60 to 39, he said.

The bill would allow homeschooled students to participate in public school sports programs. The bill provides that school divisions may charge "reasonable" fees for participation.

"I hope the Senate will follow our lead and pass the bill, as well," Poindexter added.

HB63 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Education and Health.

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