Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sine Die Report

Below is a summary of some of the most significant education-related legislation that was passed and that was defeated during the 2017 session.


Passed Legislation

HB1392 (Lingamfelter) permits a school board to authorize school security officers to carry firearms in the performance of their duties in certain circumstances.  The school security officer must be a former law enforcement officer and must receive training and certification from the Department of Criminal Justice Services.  The school board would also be required to solicit the input of the chief law enforcement officer of the locality regarding the qualifications of the former officer.

HB1400 (R.P. Bell) / SB1240 (Dunnavant) creates a statewide Virginia Virtual School that would be open to any student in the Commonwealth.

HB1408 (Ware) permits school boards to have the vision of students in grade 2 or 3 and in grades 7 and 10 be screened by a qualified nonprofit vision health organization that uses a digital photoscreening method pursuant to a comprehensive vision program. 

HB1414 (Austin) requires VDOE to review multipart questions on SOL assessments determine the feasibility of awarding students partial credit. 

HB1437 (Head) eliminates the requirement to test the sight and hearing of a student  who has any defect of vision or hearing or disease of the eyes or ears that requires the use of a corrective or supplemental device as set forth in the student's Individualized Education Program.

HB1490 (Marshall) requires a school board member who temporarily vacates his seat due to war service in the Armed Forces to submit to the school board a list of names of suitable persons to serve as an acting school board member during his absence.  The school board must consider appointing an acting school board member from such list of names.  If the school board does not appoint an acting member from the list, the school board must notify the school board member who temporarily vacated his seat of the reason why the school board did not appoint one of the listed individuals. 

HB1552 (Bulova) requires each school board to post on its website a notice to high school students and parents of the opportunities available to obtain a nationally recognized career readiness certificate at a local public high school, comprehensive community college or workforce center.

HB1586 (Campbell) directs courts to require that the parties to a child custody case provide to the child’s school a copy of any order that prohibits a parent from picking a child up at school or that affects a child’s school enrollment.  The bill also clarifies that school staff is not required to interpret of enforce the custody order. 

HB1605 (LaRock) creates Parental Choice Educational Savings Accounts which will allow parents to receive state SOQ funding to use for education expenses, including private and sectarian schools. The bill was passed with a reenactment clause, which means that the bill must pass again in the 2018 session of the General Assembly in order to become law.

HB1661 (Greason) permits (but does not require) schools to stock and administer, pursuant to a prescriber's written order, injectable medication for the treatment of adrenal crisis in students with adrenal insufficiency. The bill also provides liability protection to school staff who administer such medications. 

HB1708 (Filler-Corn) requires the BOE to consider for inclusion in the student outcome measures included in the Standards of Accreditation the number of industry certification credentials obtained by high school students.

HB1709 (Filler-Corn) requires each school board to have a policy that directs principals to notify the parent of any student involved in an alleged incident of bullying of the status of any investigation within 5 school days of the allegation of bullying. 

HB1770 (Frietas) / SB1583 (Sutterlein) allows a school board or superintendent to waive certain requirements for licensure in the area of career and technical education.

HB1829 (Dudenhefer) requires hands-on CPR training for teacher licensure and recertification.

HB1924(Bagby) / SB829 (Wexton) directs the Board of Education to establish guidelines for alternatives to short-term and long-term suspension for consideration by local school boards. 

HB1981 (Greason) requires BOE to promulgate regulations for the designation of School Divisions of Innovation in the local school divisions.  A School Division of Innovation would be an opportunity for a school division to innovate and be exempted from certain regulatory requirements.

HB1982 (Greason) which would require the Board of Education to allow for the award of verified units of credit for a satisfactory score, to be determined by the BOE, on the PSAT/ NMSQT and PreACT examinations.

HB2014 (Keam) would change the BOE's biennial review of the SOQ from even-numbered years to odd-numbered years.  This was recommended by the BOE to align with the budget cycle.

HB2140 (LeMunyon) / SB1523 (Mason) directs VDOE to develop a pilot program to administer an exist questionnaire for teachers who leave the profession.

HB2141 (LeMunyon) requires BOE to report on the need to retain or maintain the frequency of reports that local school divisions are required to submit.

HB2174 (Murphy) requires school boards to report class size by school in middle and high school.

HB2191 (Landes) requires each school board's procedures for handling challenged controversial instructional materials to include procedures for (i) annually notifying the parent of any student enrolled in a course in which the instructional materials or related academic activities may include sexually explicit content of the potential for such sexually explicit content in such course and (ii) providing, as a replacement for instructional materials or related academic activities that include sexually explicit content, nonexplicit instructional materials or related academic activities to any student whose parent so requests.

HB2218 (Miyares) for school divisions in which half of the schools receive Title I funding, authorizes BOE to notify the local school board if the school board denies a charter school application and BOE finds the school board's rationale for such denial to be insufficient.

HB2257 (Filler-Corn) permits high school family life education curriculum to incorporate age-appropriate elements of effective and evidence-based programs on the law and meaning of consent.

HB2282 (Leftwich) requires BOE to develop guidelines for training school counselors, school nurses, and other relevant school staff on the prevention of trafficking of children.

HB2290 (Ward) requires that driver's education include instruction concerning traffic stops, including law-enforcement procedures for traffic stops, appropriate actions to be taken by drivers during traffic stops, and appropriate interactions with law-enforcement officers who initiate traffic stops.

HB2332 (Tyler) states that it is a goal of the Commonwealth for teacher salaries to be competitive with the national average teacher salary and defines “competitive” as at or above the national average teacher salary.

HB2341 (Landes) requires at least two of the nine members of the Board of Education to represent business and industry in the private sector in the Commonwealth.

HB2342 (Landes) / SB1283 (Obenshain) allow the BOE to establish regional charter school divisions, consisting of up to 3 underlying local school divisions that each have an enrollment of 3000 students and that each have one or more schools that have been denied accreditation for two of the last three years.  The regional charter school division would be governed by a separate board of eight members appointed by BOE and one member appointed from each underlying locality (not school board).  The regional charter school would get the per pupil state funding associated with the jurisdiction in which each student resides.  The regional charter school would not be entitled to receive any local share for such students.

HB2352 (Freitas) allows a teacher licensed in another jurisdiction to be exempt from certain assessments that are required for licensure, subject to the approval of the superintendent or school board employing such teacher.

HB2354 (Rush) adds Planning District 4 to the list of planning districts to which the prohibition against a school board employing or paying any teacher or other school board employee who is the father, mother, brother, sister, spouse, son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, or brother-in-law of the division superintendent or any member of the school board applies.  The other exempted Planning Districts are 3, 11, 12, and 13.

HB2355 (Pogge) / SB1414 (Newman) requires school boards to (i) make Advanced Placement (AP), Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), and PreACT examinations available to students receiving home instruction, (ii) adopt written policies that specify the date by which such students shall register to participate in such examinations, and (iii) notify such students and their parents of such registration deadline and the availability of financial assistance to low-income and needy students to take such examinations.

HB2395 (Cline) / SB1516 (Black) requires that if a school board employs reading specialists, one such reading specialist must have training in the identification of and the appropriate interventions, accommodations, and teaching techniques for students with dyslexia or a related disorder and to serve as an advisor on dyslexia and related disorders.

HB2431(Bulova) permits a school board to have a retail fee-based electric vehicle charging stations on school property.  The charging station must be limited to school board employees, students, and authorized visitors.

HB2432 (Bulova) requires BOE to make changes to its regulations regarding license revocation.  The bill will require that a superintendent investigate all complaints "immediately," that the school board hold a hearing on a petition for revocation within 90 days, and that the school board provide a copy of its investigative file to the Superintendent of Public Instruction before the hearing is held.

SB 951 (Ruff) requires school service providers to provide each student or his parent with access to an electronic copy of such student's personal information in a manner consistent with the functionality of the school service. Contracts between local school boards and school service providers may require that such electronic copy be in a machine-readable format.

SB1098(Newman) requires that the regulations establishing standards for accreditation adopted by the Board of Education ensure that the accreditation process is transparent and based on objective measurements and that any appeal of the accreditation status of a school is heard and decided by the Board.

SB1116 (McPike) authorizes, but does not require, school board employees who are registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, or certified nurse aides and who have been trained in the administration of insulin and glucagon to assist a student who uses an insulin pump with the insertion or reinsertion of the pump or any of its parts provided assistance has been authorized by the prescriber and consented to by the student's parent. 

SB1117 (McPike) requires every person seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license with an endorsement as a school counselor to complete training in the recognition of mental health disorder and behavioral distress, including depression, trauma, violence, youth suicide, and substance abuse.

SB1159 (Reeves) provides that the career and technical education credential, when required for high school graduation, adult education, or an alternative education plan, may be satisfied with the successful completion of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB).

SB1245 (Dunnavant) requires the Board of Education to include evaluating the economic value of a postsecondary studies, including the net cost of attendance, potential student loan debt, and potential earnings, in the Board's objectives for economics education and financial literacy.

SB1359 (McPike) requires school boards to develop and implement a plan to test for lead and, if necessary, remediate potable water in school buildings.

SB1475 (McClellan) makes changes to family life education curriculum guidelines and curricula, including (i) requiring family life education curriculum guidelines to include instruction as appropriate for the age of the student in the benefits, challenges, responsibilities, and value of family relationships for men, women, children, and communities; (ii) amending the definition of "abstinence education" for the purposes of such curriculum guidelines; and (iii) permitting the age-appropriate elements of effective and evidence-based programs on sexual violence that are required to be incorporated into any high school family life education curriculum offered by a local school division to include instruction that increases student awareness of the fact that consent is required before sexual activity.

Defeated Legislation 

HB1534 (R.P. Bell) would have limited long-term suspensions to 45 days, unless aggravating circumstances exist, in which case the long-term suspension may last a maximum of 90 days.  The maximum length of a long term suspension would be 90 days, regardless of the circumstances. The bill was passed by the House on a 51-46 vote.  The bill was amended in the Senate to conform to Senator’s Stanley’s SB995 and was passed by the Senate 34 to 6.  The bill then went back to the House for approval of the Senate substitute.  Although the bill had initially been passed by the House, the tide had turned by the time the substitute came back before the House.  The House rejected the Senate substitute.  The Senate first insisted on its substitute and requested a conference committee but then reconsidered that motion and passed the bill by for several days.  Ultimately the bill was sent back to committee, where it died. 

HB1535 (R.P. Bell)/ SB996 (Stanley) would have prohibited the use of long-term suspensions or expulsions for disruptive behavior unless the behavior also involved intentional physical injury or credible threat of physical injury to another person.  The term “disruptive behavior” is defined in the Code as “a violation of school board regulations governing student conduct that interrupts or obstructs the learning environment.” The bills were stricken (Stanley) and left in Committee (Bell) after receiving much opposition.  

HB1536 (R.P. Bell) would have limited the length of time that a student in grades pre-K through 3 can be suspended to 5 days.  A student in grades pre-k through 3 could not be suspended for more than 5 days or expelled, except in limited cases involving firearms or drugs. The bill narrowly passed the House on a 49-47 vote.  (Interestingly, several delegates changed their votes later in the day but no member moved for a reconsideration of the bill.)  The bill was amended in the Senate to conform to Senator Stanley’s SB997 and was passed by the Senate 33 to 7.  The bill then went back to the House for approval of the Senate substitute.  The House rejected the Senate substitute.  The Senate insisted on its substitute and requested a conference committee.  With strong opposition to the bill, the conference committee never issued a conference report, therefore, the bill died. 

HB1578 (R.B. Bell) would have required the Virginia High School League to allow home schooled students to participate in interscholastic sports and programs. The bill was passed passed by the House on a 60-38 vote.  The bill was passed by the Senate on a 22 to 18 vote.  The Governor vetoed the bill on February 20, 2017. 

HB1757 (Dudenhefer) would have required one nurse in each school or a ratio of 1 nurse per 550 students. This bill was left in House Appropriations.

HB1764 (Bulova) would have required every school division to offer a full-time virtual program. The bill failed to report out of House Appropriations.

HB1805 (J.J. Bell) would have required school boards to develop a plan to fund and phase in full day kindergarten. The bill failed to report out of House Appropriations. 

HB1807 (J.J. Bell) would have reinstated the fact finding panel as an option for teacher grievances.  It would also have removed the deadline for conducting grievance hearings which would have resulted in the grievance process being subject to delays. The bill was defeated in the House Education subcommittee for Education Innovation. 

HB1983 (Greason) would have made local school boards responsible for setting the school calendar and determining the opening day of the school year and eliminates the post-Labor Day opening requirement and "good cause" scenarios for which the Board of Education may grant waivers of this requirement. The bill passed the House on a 75-24 vote.  The bill was passed by indefinitely in the Senate Education and Health Committee on a 9 to 6 vote.

HB2007 (R.B. Bell) requires each school board to permit any student who receives home instruction and resides in the local school division to apply for enrollment as a part-time student of the local school division in any dual enrollment course offered pursuant to an agreement for postsecondary degree attainment at a public high school in the local school division or at the comprehensive community college. The bill specifies that no such student shall be required to pay more in tuition or fees than the tuition or fees paid by public school students to enroll in such course. The bill passed the House on a 64-33 vote.  The bill was defeated in the Senate Finance Committee.

HB2142(LeMunyon) delays the implementation of the redesigned high school graduation requirements by one year and alters the graduation requirements The bill passed the House on a 56-41 vote.  The bill was stricken at the request of the patron in the Senate Education and Health Committee. 

HB2401 (Morris) would have required public bodies to take minutes of all closed meetings and to record all closed meetings. The bill was defeated in the House General Laws subcommittee.

HB2402 (Morris) provides that if a court finds that any officer or employee of a public body (i) receives a request for records that was sent by a requester by certified mail, return receipt requested, and (ii) without legal excuse or justification, deliberately, willfully, and knowingly fails to make a response to such request, such officer or employee may be terminated for cause by his appointing authority or agency head. The bill passed the House on a 67-27 vote.  The bill was defeated in the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee. 

 

HJ629 (R.B. Bell) would have allowed the Board of Education to establish charter schools.  The constitutional amendment was defeated in the subcommittee of the House Privileges and Elections Committee.

HJ634 (Cole) would have permitted the General Assembly to authorize an elected school board to impose real property tax.  This constitutional  amendment was defeated in the subcommittee of the House Privileges and Elections Committee. 

SB795 (Sturtevant) will require localities and school boards to post of their websites a register of all funds expended, showing vendor name, date of payment, amount, and a description of the type of expense, including credit card purchases with the same information.  The bill contains exemptions for certain information. The bill passed the Senate on a 24-16 vote.  The bill was tabled in the House Counties, Cities, and Towns subcommittee.

SB937 (Edwards) would have created the Office of the Children’s Ombudsman that would have had the authority to, among other things, investigate complaints regarding child-serving agencies, which would have included school divisions.  The bill was defeated in the Senate Finance Committee.

SB995 (Stanley) would have prohibited a long-term suspension from extending beyond 60 days unless the conduct may constitute an offense contemplated under subsection G of § 16.1-260.  The bill also provided that for any long-term suspension over 60 days, the school board or the superintendent or his designee shall conduct a review at the end of each grading period to determine whether the student will be permitted to return to school early. The bill passed the Senate on a 32-8 vote.  In the House Education Committee, the bill was conformed to Delegate Bell’s HB1534.  Despite the fact that the House had passed Delegate Bell’s bill just two weeks earlier, the bill was defeated on the floor of the House on a vote of 39 to 56.

SB997(Stanley) would have prohibited expulsions and suspensions of more than ten days for students in prekindergarten through grade 3, except in cases involving serious bodily injury, inappropriate sexual behavior, or weapons.  The bill passed the Senate on a 34-6 vote.  In the House Education Committee, the bill was conformed to Delegate Bell’s HB1536.  Despite the fact that the House had passed Delegate Bell’s bill just two weeks earlier, the bill was defeated on the floor of the House on a vote of 46 to 50.    

SB1017(Barker) would have authorized a school attendance officer or local school division superintendent or his designee acting as an attendance officer to complete, sign, and file petitions and motions for the enforcement of certain orders entered by a juvenile and domestic relations district court. The bill also provided that a nonattorney attendance officer or local school division superintendent or his designee acting as an attendance officer performing the powers and duties of an attendance officer is not considered the practice of law. The bill passed the Senate on a 40-0 vote.  The bill was defeated in the House Courts Criminal Law subcommittee.

SB1082(Wexton) would have eliminated the requirement that school principals report misdemeanor offenses to law enforcement. Under this bill, principals would still be required report conduct that may constitute a felony to law enforcement and they may report misdemeanor offenses. The bill passed the Senate on a 40-0 vote.  The bill was defeated in the House Elementary and Secondary Education subcommittee. 

SB1099(Newman) would have required that school boards use the term "locally developed assessments," rather than "alternative assessments" to refer to assessments developed by the school division.  The bill would have also required local school boards to distinguish between locally developed assessments and Standards of Learning assessments when administering assessments. The bill passed the Senate on a 40-0 vote.  The bill was tabled in the House Education Innovation subcommittee.

SB1243 (Dunnavant) would have created Parental Choice Education Savings Accounts.  The bill failed on the floor of the Senate on a vote of 20 to 21, with Lt. Governor Northam voting against the bill.

SB1476 (McClellan) would have required the Department of Education to (i) develop and make available to each local school board a program of training for hearing officers who preside over teacher dismissal hearings that includes information on the statutory procedure for teacher dismissal hearings and (ii) develop, maintain, and make available to each local school board a list of hearing officers who have completed such program of training. The bill was stricken at the request of the patron.

SB1556 (Newman) would have required the Board of Education's graduation requirements to require a student to earn at least one verified credit in each of the following subjects: mathematics, reading, writing, science, and history and social science. The bill requires a student to achieve a passing score on the associated end-of-course Standards of Learning assessment to earn a verified credit. The bill prohibits the associated end-of course Standards of Learning assessment from being diluted or replaced by another assessment.  The bill was passed by indefinitely in the Senate Education and Health Committee.

SJ240 (Obenshain) would have granted the Board of Education authority, subject to criteria and conditions prescribed by the General Assembly, to establish charter schools within the school divisions of the Commonwealth.  The bill was stricken by the patron in Committee when it appeared that there were not enough votes to pass it.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Budget Update - Conference Report

The Budget Conference Report, which shows the budget amendments agreed to by the Senate and House budget conferees, is available here.


Highlights from the Budget Conference Report include the following:


  • The state share of a proposed 2% salary increase for SOQ funded positions, effective February 15, 2018.  The amendment clarifies that to be eligible for the state share of this salary increase, the school division must certify that has or will provide a salary increase of at least 2% at some point during the 2016-2018 biennium.
  • $34.1 million in the second year of the biennium (FY18) from the general fund to increase the Lottery Per Pupil Allocation.  The total Lottery Per Pupil Allocation will be $191.3 million, or 35% of the total Lottery Proceeds Fund.
  • $7.3 million in the first year of the biennium (FY17) for small school divisions that have had a 5% or greater decrease in ADM from March 1, 2011 to March 1, 2016.  A list of the eligible school divisions and the proposed amounts can be accessed here




 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Senate Health and Education Committee 2/16

HB1400 (R.P Bell) would create a statewide Virginia Virtual School that would be open to any student in the Commonwealth. The bill was reported from the committee 8-7. 

HB1408 (Ware) was amended to permit school boards to have the vision of students in grade 2 or 3 (unless certain exceptions apply) and in grades 7 and 10 (unless certain exceptions apply) screened by a qualified nonprofit vision health organization that uses a digital photoscreening method pursuant to a comprehensive vision program. The bill was reported from the committee with substitute 15-0. 

HB1414 (Austin) will require VDOE to review multipart questions on SOL assessments determine the feasibility of awarding students partial credit. bill was reported from the committee with an amendment 15-0. 

HB1437 (Head) would eliminate the requirement to test the sight and hearing of a student  who has any defect of vision or hearing or disease of the eyes or ears that requires the use of a corrective or supplemental device as set forth in the student's Individualized Education Program. The bill was reported from the committee 15-0. 

HB1490 (R. Marshall) requires a school board member who temporarily vacates his seat due to war service in the Armed Forces to submit to the school board a list of names of suitable persons to serve as an acting school board member during his absence.  The school board will be required to appoint an acting school board member from such list of names.  bill was reported from the committee 8-7.

HB1605 (LaRock) creates Parental Choice Educational Savings Accounts which will allow parents to receive state SOQ funding to use for education expenses, including private and sectarian schools. The bill was reported and referred to Senate Finance 8-7. 

HB1661 (Greason) would permit (but not require) schools to stock and administer, pursuant to a prescriber's written order, injectable medication for the treatment of adrenal crisis in students with adrenal insufficiency. The bill also provides liability protection to school staff who administer such medications.  bill was reported from the committee 15-0.

HB1662 (Greason) would require the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), in consultation with each public institution of higher education, to establish a policy for granting undergraduate general education course credit to any entering freshman student who has successfully completed a dual enrollment course. The bill requires SCHEV and each public institution of higher education to make the policy available to the public on their websites.  The bill was reported from the committee 15-0.

HB1708 (Filler-Corn) would require the BOE to consider for inclusion in the student outcome measures included in the Standards of Accreditation the number of industry certification credentials obtained by high school students. The bill was reported from the committee 15-0. 

HB1709 (Filler-Corn) was amended to require each school board to have a policy that directs principals to notify the parent of any student involved in an alleged incident of bullying of the status of any investigation within 5 school days of the allegation of bullying. The bill was reported from the committee 15-0. 

HB1829 (Dudenhefer) requires hands-on CPR training for teacher licensure and recertification. The bill was reported from the committee 14-1. 

HB1981 (Greason) requires BOE to promulgate regulations for the designation of School Divisions of Innovation in the local school divisions.  A School Division of Innovation would be an opportunity for a school division to innovate and be exempted from certain regulatory and statutory requirements. The bill was reported from the committee with amendments 15-0. 

HB1982 (Greason) which would require the Board of Education to allow for the award of verified units of credit for a satisfactory score, to be determined by the BOE, on the PSAT examination. The bill was amended to add PreACT. The bill was reported from the committee with a substitute 15-0. 

HB2142 (LeMunyon) would have delayed the implementation of the redesigned high school graduation requirements by one year. The bill was stricken at the request of the patron in the committee. 

HB2174 (Murphy) requires school boards to report class size in middle and high school. The bill was reported from the committee 10-5.

HB2191 (Landes) requires each school board's procedures for handling challenged controversial instructional materials to include procedures for (i) annually notifying the parent of any student enrolled in a course in which the instructional materials or related academic activities may include sexually explicit content of the potential for such sexually explicit content in such course and (ii) providing, as a replacement for instructional materials or related academic activities that include sexually explicit content, nonexplicit instructional materials or related academic activities to any student whose parent so requests.  The bill reported from the committee with amendments 9-6. 

HB2218 (Miyares) authorizes BOE to notify the local school board if the school board denies a charter school application and BOE finds the school board's rationale for such denial to be insufficient. The bill was reported from the committee 8-7. 

HB2341 (Landes) requires at least two of the nine members of the Board of Education to represent business and industry in the private sector in the Commonwealth.The bill was reported from the committee 15-0. 

HB2342 (Landes) would allow the BOE to establish regional charter school divisions, consisting of up to 3 underlying local school divisions that each have an enrollment of 3000 students and that each have one or more schools that have been denied accreditation for two of the last three years.  The regional charter school division would be governed by a separate board of eight members appointed by BOE and one member appointed from each underlying locality (not school board).  The regional charter school would get the per pupil state funding associated with the jurisdiction in which each student resides.  The regional charter school would not be entitled to receive any local share for such students. The bill was reported from the committee 9-6. 

HB2352 (Freitas) allows a teacher licensed in another jurisdiction to be exempt from certain assessments that are required for licensure, subject to the approval of the superintendent or school board employing such teacher. The bill was reported from the committee 12-3. 

HB2395 (Cline) was amended to requires one reading specialist or school psychologist  in any school division in which the local school board employs such a specialist or school psychologist to have training in the identification of and the appropriate interventions, accommodations, and teaching techniques for students with dyslexia or a related disorder and to serve as an advisor on dyslexia and related disorders. The bill was reported from the committee with the substitute 13-2. 

House Education & House Education Elementary & Secondary Education Subcommittee


House Education 

SB1159 (Reeves) provides that the career and technical education credential, when required for high school graduation, adult education, or an alternative education plan, may be satisfied with the successful completion of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). The bill was reported from the committee 22-0. 

SB1098 (Newman) requires that the regulations establishing standards for accreditation adopted by the Board of Education ensure that the accreditation process is transparent and based on objective measurements and that any appeal of the accreditation status of a school is heard and decided by the Board. The bill was reported from the committee 21-1. 

House Education Elementary & Secondary Education Subcommittee 

SB1117 (McPike) requires every person seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license with an endorsement as a school counselor to complete training in the recognition of mental health disorder and behavioral distress, including depression, trauma, violence, youth suicide, and substance abuse. The subcommittee recommend reporting. 

SB1359 (McPike) requires school boards to develop and implement a plan to test for lead and, if necessary, remediate potable water in school buildings. The subcommittee recommended reporting 7-1. 

SB1082 (Wexton) eliminates the requirement that school principals report misdemeanor offenses to law enforcement. Under this bill, principals must still report conduct that may constitute a felony to law enforcement and they may report misdemeanor offenses. The subcommittee failed to recommend reporting 3-5. 

SB1475 (McClellan) regarding family life education curriculum was amended and recommended for reporting 8-0. 

SB951 (Ruff) which requires school service providers to provide each student's parent with access to a downloadable electronic copy of any student personal information pertaining to such student that has been collected, maintained, used, or shared by the school service provider. The bill permits such electronic copy to be in a machine-readable format. The subcommittee recommended reporting 8-0. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

"Checkbook Register" Bill Tabled Unanimously

SB795 (Sturtevant), which would have required every locality and every school division to post on their respective websites a register of all funds expended, showing vendor name, date of payment, amount, and a description of the type of expense, including credit card purchases with limited exceptions for certain confidential information, was tabled unanimously in the House Counties, Cities and Towns Subcommittee #2 today. 


Thank you to all who contacted Delegates in response to our VSBA Action Alert to oppose this legislation. 

House Education Committee 2/13

The House Education Committee considered the following bills earlier this week.

SB829 (Wexton) directs the Board of Education to establish guidelines for alternatives to short-term and long-term suspension for consideration by local school boards.  The bill was reported 21-1. 

SB1240 (Dunnavant) would create a state-wide Virginia Virtual School that would be open to any student in the Commonwealth. The bill was reported and referred to House Appropriations on a vote of 14-8. 

SB1283 (Obenshain) would allow the BOE to establish regional charter school divisions, consisting of up to 3 underlying local school divisions that each have an enrollment of 3000 students and that each have one or more schools that have been denied accreditation for two of the last three years.  The regional charter school division would be governed by a separate board of eight members appointed by BOE and one member appointed from each underlying locality (not school board).  The regional charter school would get the per pupil state funding associated with the jurisdiction in which each student resides.  The regional charter school would not be entitled to receive any local share for such students. The bill was reported and referred to House Appropriations on a 14-8 vote. 
SB995 (Stanley) regarding long-term suspensions was conformed to the House's version Delegate Dickie Bell's  HB1534 and reported 14-8.  The bill, as reported, limits long term suspensions to 45 days unless aggravating circumstances exist, in which case the long-term suspension may last up to 90 days.  The bill is now far more restrictive than the version that passed the Senate.

SB997 (Stanley) regarding expulsions and suspensions for students in prekindergarten through grade 3, was conformed to the House's version of Delegate Dickie Bell's HB1536 and reported 13-9. The bill, as reported, prohibits expulsion or suspension for more than 5 days for students in prekindergarten through grade three, except in very limited circumstances of firearms and drugs.  The bill is now far more restrictive than the version that passed the Senate.

SB1523 (Mason) requires the Department of Education to develop a pilot  program to administer exit questionnaires for teachers who leave their employment. The bill was reported from the committee 22-0. 

SB1516 (Black) requires that school boards that employ reading specialists must have at least one reading specialist receive training in the identification of and the appropriate interventions, accommodations, and teaching techniques for students with dyslexia or a related disorder and to serve as an advisor on dyslexia and related disorders. The bill was conform do Delegate Ben Cline's HB 2395 and reported 22-0. 


Monday, February 13, 2017

Senate Education and Health Committee 2/9


Del. Bell's discipline bills, HB1534 and HB1536 were conformed to Senator Stanley's SB885 and SB997, as those bills came out of the Senate, which you can read about here.  The Committee reported both bills on a 12-3 vote.
HB1552 (Bulova) will require each school board to post its website a notice to high school students and parents of the opportunities available to obtain a nationally recognized career readiness certification at al local public high school, comprehensive community college or workforce center. The bill was reported on a 15-0 vote.
HB1578 (R.B. Bell) will require the Virginia High School League to allow home schooled students to participate in interscholastic sports and programs. The bill was reported on a 9-6 vote.
HB1770 (Freitas) would allow a school board or superintendent to waive certain requirements for licensure in the area of career and technical education. The bill was reported on a 15-0 vote.
HB1924 (Bagby) directs the Board of Education to establish guidelines for alternatives to short-term and long-term suspension for consideration by local school boards. The bill was reported on a 13-2 vote.
HB1983 (Greason) the bill would have made local school boards responsible for setting the school calendar and determining the opening day of the school year and eliminates the post-Labor Day opening requirement and "good cause" scenarios for which the Board of Education may grant waivers of this requirement. The bill was passed by indefinitely on a 9-6 vote.
HB2007 (R.B. Bell) requires each school board to permit any student who receives home instruction and resides in the local school division to apply for enrollment as a part-time student of the local school division in any dual enrollment course offered pursuant to an agreement for postsecondary degree attainment at a public high school in the local school division or at the comprehensive community college. The bill specifies that no such student shall be required to pay more in tuition or fees than the tuition or fees paid by public school students to enroll in such course. The bill was reported and referred to Senate Finance on a 8-7 vote.
HB2014  (Keam) would change the BOE's biennial review of the SOQ from even-numbered years to odd-numbered years.  This was recommended by the BOE to align with the budget cycle. The bill was reported on a 15-0 vote.
HB2140 (LeMunyon) directs VDOE to develop a pilot program to administer an exit questionnaire for teachers who leave the profession. The bill was reported on a 15-0 vote.
HB2141 (LeMunyon) requires BOE to report on the need to retain or maintain the frequency of reports that local school divisions are required to submit. The bill was reported on a 15-0 vote.
HB2257 (Filler-Corn) was amended to permit, but not require, high school family life education curriculum incorporate age-appropriate elements of effective and evidence-based programs on the law and meaning of consent. The bill reported on a 13-2 vote.
 HB2282 (Leftwich) was amended to require BOE to develop guidelines for training school counselors, school nurses, and other relevant school staff on the prevention of trafficking of children.The bill was reported 15-0.
HB2290 (Ward) will require that driver's education include instruction concerning traffic stops, including law-enforcement procedures for traffic stops, appropriate actions to be taken by drivers during traffic stops, and appropriate interactions with law-enforcement officers who initiate traffic stops.  The bill was reported with amendments 15-0.
HB2332 (Tyler) states that it is a goal of the Commonwealth for teacher salaries to be competitive with the national average teacher salary. The bill was reported 15-0.
HB2355 (Pogge) would require school boards to (i) make Advanced Placement (AP), Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), and PreACT examinations available to students receiving home instruction, (ii) adopt written policies that specify the date by which such students shall register to participate in such examinations, and (iii) notify such students and their parents of such registration deadline and the availability of financial assistance to low-income and needy students to take such examinations. The bill was reported 15-0.
HB2431 (Bulova) permits a school board to have a retail fee-based electric vehicle charging stations on school property.  The charging station must be limited to school board employees, students, and authorized visitors. The bill was reported 14-1.
HB2432 (Bulova) requires BOE to make changes to its regulations regarding license revocation.  The bill will require that a superintendent investigate all complaints "immediately," that the school board hold a hearing on a petition for revocation within 90 days, and that the school board provide a copy of its investigative file to the Superintendent of Public Instruction before the hearing is held. The bill reported 15-0.