McDonnell creates higher education commission

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Gov. Bob McDonnell has created the Governors’ Commission on Higher Education Reform, Innovation and Investment to increase the number of Virginians who earn a college degree.

The commission will also be tasked with studying ways to attract and prepare students for science, technology, engineering and math careers; encourage economic development partnerships with universities; create a higher education funding model; offer educational opportunities for veterans and military personnel; and research new ways to make college more affordable.

“Our Higher Education Commission will play a pivotal role in the effort to make Virginia a more-highly educated state where businesses seek to locate and good jobs are available to our citizens in the communities they call home,” McDonnell said in a statement.

McDonnell also appointed Laura Fornash as the deputy secretary of education. She currently serves as the school’s director of state government relations.

The commission will include 30 members that are appointed by the governor and will include the secretary of education, secretary of technology, secretary of finance or a designee and the vice chairman of the Council on Virginia’s Future.

Under the order, a report will be sent to the governor with its recommendations no later than Nov. 30.

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