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BILL 28-0024 ( An Act Amending 17 V I C To Est. Val. & Sal. Scholarship Awards)

2nd of 2 bills considered during today\'s Education, Culture, & Youth Cmte Hearing (4/28). Bill to establish Val. & Sal scholarship

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BILL 28-0024 ( An Act Amending 17 V I C To Est. Val. & Sal. Scholarship Awards)

  1. 1. COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION, YOUTH AND CULTURE BILL NO. 28-0024 Twenty-Eighth Legislature of the Virgin Islands March 30, 2009 An Act amending 17 V.I.C., to establish Valedictorian and Salutatorian scholarship awards PROPOSED BY: Senator Terrence “Positive” Nelson Co-Sponsor: Adlah “Foncie” Donastorg, Jr. 1 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the Virgin Islands: 2 SECTION 1. Title 17 Virgin Islands Code, section 190u is amended in the 3 following instances: 4 1. In the title, after the word “Salutatorian” insert “Scholarship”; 5 2. In subsection (a): 6 (a) After the first occurrence of the word “Salutatorian” insert the word 7 “Scholarship”; 8 (b) At the end of the first sentence insert the following language: “with a total 9 student population of two hundred fifty or more students”, and 10 (c) Strike the second sentence in its entirety; 11 3. Strike the language in subsection (b) in its entirety and insert new language to 12 read: 13 “The scholarships are academic scholarships in an amount up to, but not 14 exceeding, $25,000, each academic year to an accredited four-year college or university
  2. 2. 2 1 of the graduates’ choice to pursue a bachelor’s degree in a field of study approved by the 2 Board of Education. Scholarships granted under this section include all costs associated 3 with the payment of tuition, fee, room and board, books, supplies, or any other expenses 4 directly related with the studies pursued in each case.”; 5 4. Strike the language subsection (c) in its entirety and insert in lieu thereof: 6 “Each scholarship granted is for a period of not more than four years. No 7 scholarship funds may be released to a scholarship recipient until the recipient has been 8 formally accepted for enrollment at the educational institution of the graduate’s choice”; 9 5. Add subsections (d) through (g) to read as follows: 10 “(d) Upon graduation, recipients of this scholarship shall work one calendar 11 year for the Government of the Virgin Islands, for each year of scholarship funds 12 received. This requirement may be deferred long enough for the student to pursue full- 13 time graduate studies. 14 (e) The scholarship awards are presented to each valedictorian and 15 salutatorian who accepts the award at an appropriate ceremony held by the Legislature of 16 the Virgin Islands during the last two weeks of June of every year. The President of the 17 Legislature shall present a perma plaque of the resolution to each valedictorian and 18 salutatorian. The resolution must contain a brief biography of the graduate and the 19 graduate’s educational accomplishments. 20 (f) The Board of Education shall maintain a list of approved degree majors 21 for which the scholarship may be awarded. Recipients of the scholarship award must 22 enroll in one of the approved degree programs and maintain full-time student status, 23 along with a grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in that course of study, until 24 fulfillment of all the requirements of the degree program. The Board of Education shall 25 review the list of approved majors annually and make changes as necessary to reflect the
  3. 3. 3 1 needs of the community as determined by the Board. The initial list of approved majors 2 must include: 3 (1) Agricultural Sciences; 4 (2) Environmental Science; 5 (3) Criminology and Criminal Justice; 6 (4) Economics; 7 (5) Accounting; 8 (6) Finance; 9 (7) Early Childhood Education; 10 (8) Elementary Education; 11 (9) Secondary Education; 12 (10) Special Education; 13 (11) Public and Community Health; 14 (12) Sociology; 15 (13) Nursing; 16 (14) Pre-Med; 17 (15) Information Technology; and 18 (16) Engineering. 19 (g) Within ninety day after the passage of this Act, the Virgin Islands Board 20 of Education shall adopt forms to be used by applicant for the Valedictorian and 21 Salutatorian Scholarship Awards, fix a date on which the scholarship is to be awarded 22 annually and adopt such rules and regulations which are not inconsistent with this section 23 for carrying into effect the provisions of this section.” 24 25 26
  4. 4. 4 1 BILL SUMMARY 2 This Bill creates a Valedictorian and Salutatorian Scholarship Award for every 3 school with a student population of two hundred fifty or more. The four-year 4 scholarships are in the amount of $25,000 per academic year for the pursuit of a Bachelor 5 degree at an accredited four-year college or university in fields of study approved by the 6 Board of Education. The candidate must maintain a grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 7 scale. The bill also sets forth an initial list of approved degree majors. The Board of 8 Education is required to review the list annually and make necessary changes in 9 accordance to community needs. 10 11 12 13 BR09-0135/February 5, 2009/PFA 14 15