RD804 - Recommendations for Appropriate Staffing and Funding Levels Necessary for State Operated Programs (SOPs) in Regional and Local Detention Centers – November 1, 2021
The 2021 Appropriation Act (Chapter 552, Item 145.C.19.c.2) required that the following actions be undertaken:
The Board of Education shall make recommendations for: (i) appropriate staffing and funding levels necessary for State Operated Programs (SOP) in regional and local detention centers to provide a quality education program; (ii) implementation of appropriate efficiencies in staffing practices in such programs; (iii) statutory and regulatory changes needed to implement the Board's findings; and (iv) appropriate programs to redirect any potential savings realized from implementation of the Board's findings.
In developing such recommendations, the Board shall consider: (i) the dramatic decrease in the Average Daily Population in detention centers over the course of two decades without a comparable decrease in state funding; (ii) establishing a system-wide staffing ratio that is comparable to those provided in Regional Alternative Education Programs and aligned with the staffing requirements provided in the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act; (iii) implementing efficiencies, such as sharing SOP instructional staff with participating school divisions, hiring part-time teachers and dually-certified teachers and principals, and utilizing a lead teacher in lieu of a full-time principal in programs with a low average daily population; (iv) changes to SOP operating agreements to facilitate more efficient staffing practices and to clarify the role of the state and school divisions in hiring and supervising SOP instructional staff; (v) increasing the use of enhanced distance learning; and (vi) the draft recommendations deliberated by the Commission on Youth from the 2020 study.
The Board shall convene a workgroup to assist in the development of such findings and recommendations and shall include staff members from the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee, House Appropriations Committee, Department of Planning and Budget, the Virginia Department of Education, the Department of Juvenile Justice, the President of the Virginia Juvenile Detention Association or his/her designee, the Chair of the Virginia Commission on Youth or his/her designee, and other representatives the Board deems appropriate. Findings and recommendations shall be reported to the Chairs of the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee by November 1, 2021.