Education Bills in General Assembly

By Heather Sullivan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Here's an update on some of the education bills before the General Assembly.

Group Purchasing Study

Legislators are considering a bill that would set up a study that could save schools a lot of money. The bill is sponsored by Delegate Cox of Colonial Heights. The study would look at whether buying supplies for schools in bulk, either for all schools or groups of schools, and including everything from paper to school buses, could save the state money.

NBC 12 Education Specialist Dr. Bill Bosher says buying in bulk saved money when he was district superintendent. Said Bosher, "We've done that in both Chesterfield and Henrico and Henrico, actually with small school divisions, pulled together and bought paper by the carload. Not only did they get it for about half of what they were paying but we got about $4 cheaper a box. However, there's been nothing systematic. It's hit and miss. This would be the first effort in Virginia to look at the advantages of group purchasing.

Bosher says he believes group purchasing could save the state more than its bidding system. The study would take about a year if the bill passes.

Increasing In-State Students

Delegate Tim Hugo of Fairfax is again working to pass his bill to increase the number of Virginia students that can attend state colleges and universities. He wants state schools to be made up of 75% in-state students. He says at some schools its down around 60%.

Said Hugo, "A lot of our kids are making 3.9 and 4.0's and not getting accepted to UVA, William and Mary, Tech, JMU, and we're really kicking a lot of these high end kids out of state."

Hugo says out-of-state students are drawn to Virginia schools because they are less expensive and academically strong.