Posted on Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Virginia’s Community Colleges are asking state budget writers to include some matching money for the Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative. The request is part of the overall budget plan pursued by the VCCS. The RVHI proposal is for $2 million over the two-year budget.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThat plan was presented in August to a collection of state leaders who influence and decide higher education policy in Virginia. That group, commonly called the Op-6 group, includes the secretaries of education, commerce and trade and finance along with senior budget writers from the House of Delegates and State Senate money committees and the director of the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV).

In presenting the RVHI request, Sharon Morrissey, VCCS vice chancellor for academic services and research, highlighted the dramatic gap in higher education attainment numbers between Virginia’s rural horseshoe and the state’s more urban and suburban golden crescent.

“Knowing that, and doing nothing, is ensuring that these communities will fail to succeed in the 21st century,” Morrissey said.

The group hearing the presentation asked some questions about how different partnerships could work to pursue the goals of the RVHI. The recommendations of the panel will be used in creating the budget Governor Terry McAuliffe will introduce in December and considered by the Virginia General Assembly during its 2016 legislative session.

jkraus@vccs.edu'

Jeffrey Kraus

Jeffrey Kraus loves a well-told story; a great conversation; and the perfect glass of iced tea. He’s worked as a speechwriter, a journalist and a Zamboni operator (but not all at the same time or even in that order). Don’t talk to him about Steelers football, Penguins hockey, Pirates baseball or VCU Rams basketball unless you want a lengthy conversation.

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