A Missed Opportunity: Why Virginia Must Reconsider Lab School Exclusions

The president of Ferrum College urges lawmakers to reconsider provisions that ban applications from private schools unless they have a four-year public school sponsoring them.

As the president of Ferrum College, situated in the heart of Southwest Virginia, I am compelled to address a critical oversight by Virginia’s elected officials — the exclusion of certain institutions, including ours, from establishing specialized laboratory schools. Recent decisions to reject applications from smaller private institutions like ours not only hampers innovative educational reforms but also perpetuates disparities that our commonwealth has long sought to eradicate.  

At Ferrum College, we envisioned a lab school that would directly address both local and regional workforce needs in essential sectors such as health care, criminal justice, public safety and skilled trades. Unfortunately, the Virginia Department of Education’s decision to exclude us from consideration overlooks the unique role institutions like ours play in rural and underserved communities. 

Read the full article from the Cardinal News HERE.