Wednesday, April 6, 2011

PE Bill Finally Dies in the Senate!

In the reconvened session of the 2011 General Assembly today, an attempt was made in the Senate to override the Governor's veto of SB 966 (Sen. Northam).  The bill would have required school boards to provide 150 minutes of physical education per week to students in grades K-8.  The bill was passed by the Senate in late January on a vote of 37 to 2 and then passed by the House in mid-February on a vote of 55 to 40.  The Governor vetoed the bill on March 25, 2011. 

To override a veto, both chambers of the General Assembly must approve the bill with a two-thirds majority.  When the bill came before the Senate today, only 16 Senators voted in favor of the bill.  The vote was far short of the 27 needed for a two-thirds majority to override the veto.  In case you are keeping score, 21 Senators changed their minds about this bill between late January and today!          

As many of you know, we opposed this bill (and its House counterpart) throughout the session. Then we teamed with VASS, VEA, VML, and VACo to ask the Governor to veto the bill and we continued to work with those organizations to ask Senators to oppose efforts to override the Governor's veto.  Most importantly, however, were the calls, emails, and letters to Senators from our school board members, superintendents, and others.  Thanks to all who responded to the requests to contact Senators!