On September 28, the Task Force for Local Government Mandate Review continued its ongoing dialogue with state agencies, receiving presentations from both the Department of Education (VDOE) and the Department of Transportation (VDOT). VDOE gave a brief update on the redesign of high school curriculum mandated by the legislature and to be implemented by the Board of Education for 9th grade students entering the Fall of 2018. Some of the preliminary reforms under consideration include reducing the number of required tests and increasing opportunities for internships and project-based learning.
Also discussed was VDOE recommendations for consideration by the Board of Education to revise certain standards of quality (SOQ) requirements for a vote at its October 27 meeting. These include increasing the number of state-funded assistant principals and eliminating the cap on state funding for support positions. (see this article for more detail)
VDOT reviewed with the task force the current funding programs for (1) repairing roads and bridges; and (2) construction of new transportation infrastructure known as Smart Scale.
Representatives from VACo and VML provided the task force with items for their consideration when making recommendations to the Governor on items before the 2017 General Assembly. Chief among these is the concern that the General Assembly will reduce funding for locally provided state-mandated services in order to compensate for the budget shortfall due to declining revenues. Both organizations also emphasized the need to preserve local land use authority.
VACo Contact: Joe Lerch