WILLIAMSBURG — Williamsburg City Council voted unanimously Thursday to launch a feasibility study regarding the possibility of running its own school system, separate from James City County.
“The Williamsburg City Council is committed to being prudent fiscal stewards while guaranteeing best outcomes. We apply that same standard to our school system,” Mayor Douglas G. Pons said. “A feasibility study is the start of a process to evaluate the best possible educational opportunities for Williamsburg students, and we are privileged to have a world-class university and School of Education in William & Mary to help us explore the viability of running our own school system.”
The study will take place through the fall of 2023.
Once completed, the city said it will offer opportunities for public input based on its findings, adding the earliest any recommendations from the study would be implemented is the 2025-26 school year.
The city said it will contract a third-party consultant to lead this study, details of which will be released once that decision has been made. Williamsburg will also formally invite the William & Mary School of Education, and potentially other partners, to participate.
According to the city, the study is a first step to fulfilling a part of its 2023-2024 Goals, Initiatives, and Outcomes (GIO) which tasks it to consider alternatives to the traditional K-12 education model. The GIO document, adopted in November 2022, outlines strategic initiatives that drive the city’s direction and focus over a two-year workplan.