Thank you for your recent support regarding state funding of Academic Year Governor’s Schools and House Budget Amendment 139#13h.

Your efforts helped; the previous language in 139#13h directing most funds to a minority of Governor’s Schools has been removed.

However, we continue to need your assistance.  We are now concerned with the current, House Committee Approved, language, of 139#13h.

Now, Budget Amendment 139#13h  strikes (eliminates)  the funds designated in Governor McAuliffe’s budget for increasing resources for all 19 Academic Year Governor’s Schools. Item 139#13h also calls for the Department of Education to conduct another study regarding Academic Year Governor’s School funding.

We are very disappointed to see the House proposing to eliminate the increased funds proposed by Governor’ McAuliffe for Governor’s Schools and we cannot understand the reasoning behind a second study given that the Secretary of Education and Virginia Department of Education just completed and published a study in October of 2014.  Work documenting the underfunding of Governor’s Schools has already been completed. A second study would just delay a solution to the documented problem.

For SVGS, the fund designated by the Decision Package will help to replace outdated lab equipment and resources, support part time personnel to coordinate mentorships and research internships, support for part time personnel to develop partnerships with local business and industries, and improve facilities.
Therefore, we would like to request that you continue to speak out against Item 139#13h with House members. Please review the information below and feel free to forward to other alumni, prospective parents, community members or others as you see fit. SVGS ALUMS we need your help!.
If you choose to act, please do so promptly! To make an impact, contact needs to occur this week (Posted 2/24).  However, I encourage you to communicate with your legislators at anytime to express your concerns or commendations. Please see below for more information and what you can do.
Pointers for Correspondence

-Include “Please oppose HB30 Item 139#13h. Please align with the Senate in Increasing Funding for Academic Year Governor’s Schools.” in the subject line of email messages.

-Sign with your full home address.

-Include the specific requests (numbered 1 and 2 above under Summary of Requests) in the first paragraph of your message.
1.       Voice opposition to House Item 139#13h.
2.       Request that the House align with the Senate in maintaining the funds designated by Governor McAuliffe in his December 2015 Budget for funding of all Academic Year Governor’s School programs as proposed by the VDOE in this Decision Package
-Include a personalized message or experience in the second paragraph. For example, you might speak of how participation in the Southwest Virginia Governor’s School has influenced the education and success of a particular individual, such as your child, you, or someone else you know. When writing the second paragraph, it is important to highlight specific experiences. Do not be vague. Saying “classes are rigorous and more diverse than in my home school” is not as persuasive as, “Students are able to participate in biotechnology labs and do original research where they not only learn to form hypotheses and design experiments, but also formulate ways to communicate findings in meaningful ways”.
-End with a concise statement of your specific requests (numbered 1 and 2 above under Summary of Requests).
-Emphasize the immediate need for increased state support of Academic Year Governor’s Schools as documented in the study already completed by the Secretary of Education ( http://leg2.state.va.us/dls/h&sdocs.nsf/By+Year/RD2812014/$file/RD281.pdf)
Example Letter
Dear Delegate Name,
I urge you to oppose House Budget Item139 #13h and I request that the House align with the Senate in maintaining the funds designated by Governor McAuliffe in his December 2015 Budget for funding of all Academic Year Governor’s School programs as proposed by the VDOE in this Decision Package ( https://solutions.virginia.gov/pbreports/rdPage.aspx?rdReport=OB_DocView&Param1=392930).
(Please add a personal note on how experience benefited your student and how additional funds might be used.  BE SPECIFIC!)  The Shenandoah Valley Governor’s School offers invaluable opportunities to students in our area. For instance, when my child joined the Biotechnology class at the Governor’s School, she was amazed at the opportunities available to her. She was able to create a prototype battery using the electricity generated from microorganisms, to design a bioreactor to convert agricultural waste products into an eco-friendly alternative fuel source, and to evaluate the use of phytoremediation to remove metals from contaminated soil. The positive experiences my daughter experienced also extended far beyond the content of a specific course. She became a more independent learner, became skilled in interacting with a variety of professionals through experiences associated with the junior year internship program, and developed proficiency in experimental design, data analysis, and communication of project results through the independent research projects she completed each year at the Governor’s School.
The Academic Year Governor’s School Funding Formula Study published by the Secretary of Education in October of 2014 has already documented that Governor’s Schools are underfunded and the Virginia Department of Education has worked to create a new funding approach based on the same sound practices used for other public schools so that all Academic Year Governor’s Schools are funded in an equitable and justifiable manner. I urge you to implement the solution they developed and appropriate the necessary funds to support it as designated in Governor McAuliffe’s December 2015 budget.
Please oppose House Budget Amendment 139 #13h. Act to protect all Governor’s School programs and to ensure that all receive an equitable share of resources. Significant effort has been invested in pursuit of increasing funding for all Governor’s School programs in a meaningful way. Please support Governor’s Schools as proposed by the Sentate, VDOE, Secretary Holton, and Governor McAuliffe.
Your Name
Your Address
Suggested ContactsIMG_1954apes
Landes, Steve (House Education Chairman)  DelSLandes@house.virginia.gov
Bell, Dickie (House Education Committee)  DelDBell@house.virginia.gov
Cline, Ben DelBCline@house.virginia.gov
*Hanger, Emmett (Senate Finance Chairman)  district24@senate.virginia.gov
*You may also wish to contact Senator Hanger to express appreciation for the Senate’s support and encourage the Senate to continue to support funding for Academic Year Governor’s Schools as proposed by Governor McAuliffe and as summarized in The Report of the Subcommittee on Education released by the Senate Finance Committee on 2/21/16, http://budget.lis.virginia.gov/sessionreport/2016/1/1769/.
Members of the House Elementary & Secondary Education House Appropriations Committee
Members of the House Education Committee
shogge@hac.virginia.gov (staff analyst)
Members of the House Appropriations Committee
The Report of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Elementary and Secondary Education on House Bill 29 & House Bill 30 released on 2/21/16.
 http://budget.lis.virginia.gov/sessionreport/2016/1/1757/ (page 12, in the section numbered 139#4h).
House Committee Approved, language, of 139#13h http://budget.lis.virginia.gov/amendment/2016/1/HB30/Introduced/CA/139/13h/
December 2015 Budget for funding of all Academic Year Governor’s School programs as proposed by the VDOE in this Decision Package https://solutions.virginia.gov/pbreports/rdPage.aspx?rdReport=OB_DocView&Param1=392930
Academic Year Governor’s Schools as documented in the study already completed by the Secretary of Education http://leg2.state.va.us/dls/h&sdocs.nsf/By+Year/RD2812014/$file/RD281.pdf
 I encourage you to let area legislators know of your expectations for public education and how they might support those. Delegates Bell, Cline and Landes and Senator Hanger have chosen to serve us by representing the interests of this area and we respect their expertise. Remember, we are honorably representing SVGS, Academic Year Governor’s Schools (AYGS) and public education in general.

Please let me know if you have questions.

I hope this information has been helpful as we passionately work together to ensure the education all our children need and deserve.

Thanks as always for your concern and support of SVGS and public education.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.