Vol. 38 Iss. 1 - August 30, 2021

Chapter 131
Notice of Intended Regulatory Action

Notice is hereby given in accordance with § 2.2-4007.01 of the Code of Virginia that the State Board of Education intends to consider amending 8VAC20-131, Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia. The purpose of the proposed action is to establish standards governing public virtual education that will maintain a level of student achievement commensurate with high-quality instruction delivered in traditional brick and mortar schools, providing standards for local school boards as they establish virtual public education programs or schools, with all students taking coursework virtually, rather than in a traditional brick and mortar environment. The Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia do not specifically address differences in service delivery that exist between a brick and mortar public school and virtual schools that enroll students full-time. As the options available to Virginia's public school students through virtual learning programs continue to expand, students enrolled in public schools may be able to take all coursework virtually. The regulations governing virtual education would expand opportunities to learn by setting forth the expectations for a virtual school as an option for Virginia school divisions, Multidivision Online Providers, and Virtual VA. The proposed amendments would (i) establish the policies and standards necessary to ensure accountability of student learning in public virtual education; (ii) provide the board with the opportunity to develop and implement sound policies for student success in a virtual setting; and (iii) examine and adjust standards for library media, staffing requirements, hours of instruction, extracurricular activities, and school facilities and safety for virtual schools and for appropriate service delivery in a virtual environment.

The agency intends to hold a public hearing on the proposed action after publication in the Virginia Register.

Statutory Authority: §§ 22.1-16 and 22.1-253.13:3 of the Code of Virginia.

Public Comment Deadline: October 29, 2021.

Agency Contact: Dr. Brendon Albon, Director of STEM and Innovation, State Board of Education, 101 North 14th Street , Richmond, VA 23219, telephone (804) 786-2418, or email

VA.R. Doc. No. R22-6920; Filed August 10, 2021