HD49 - HJR 124 - Commission to Review, Study and Reform Educational Leadership

    Executive Summary:
    The 2002 Session of the General Assembly, HJR 20/SJR 58 established a two-year, 21-member commission to "review, study and reform educational leadership." Supporting the commission's study was one of only 15 National State Action for Educational Leadership Project (SAELP) grants from the Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund, sought by and awarded to the Commonwealth and implemented in cooperation with the Commonwealth Educational Policy Institute (CEPI) at Virginia Commonwealth University in January 2002 on behalf of the Department of Education and the Commonwealth.

    Pursuant to HJR 20 and SJR 58, the General Assembly directed the 21-member commission to "(i) evaluate the policy environment for educational leadership; (ii) propose necessary statutory amendments or changes based on research, surveys, analysis and review of pertinent laws, guidelines, policies, regulations and practices; (iii) communicate regularly to the Board of Education any relevant findings with recommendations for needed regulatory action; and (iv) provide a forum for educational leaders to report to the commission the challenges of, and impact on, their work."

    The Commission met five times in 2002 and submitted an interim report of its findings and six recommendations--contained in House Document No. 14 (2003)--to the Governor and the 2003 Session of the General Assembly.

    Delving further into potential methods of ensuring effective preparation and ongoing professional development for school leaders in its second year of study, the Commission met three times in 2003. The Commission ultimately agreed upon 14 recommendations, set forth in its 2004 report, House Document No. 4.

    Among the Commission's recommendations was that its work continue in 2004 "to receive reports and information regarding the Board's recommendations regarding alternative licensure routes and a two-tiered licensure system...." The 2004 Session adopted HJR 124, and the Commission met on November 29, 2004, to receive testimony regarding turnaround specialists, principal licensure, SAELP grants, use of educational leadership grants provided in the 2004 budget, and the implementation of its remaining recommendations.

    The Commission unanimously agreed that its work should conclude, and made one final recommendation that will be included in its final report to the Governor and the General Assembly:

    Recommendation: That the House Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Education and Health, as well as the relevant standing subcommittees of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees, monitor and review regularly the critical issues surrounding educational leadership, including, but not limited to, training, induction, licensure, and fiscal resources.