This morning, the Senate Education and Health Committee somewhat unexpectedly took up the Senate bills relating to school start dates. Despite requests for the Administration and the bills' patrons, the committee chairman refused to pass the bills by for the day. The issue of the post-labor start date - or the so-called King's Dominion law - was hotly debated on the Senate. The bills were defeated on a close 9 to 6 vote.
This evening, however, was much different on the House side. In the Teachers and Administrative Action Subcommittee of the House Education Committee, 10 school calendar bills were considered. One bill, HB591 (Merricks), dealing with particular localities was passed by for the day so the fate of the remaining bills could be determined. Another bill, HB1063 (Tata), was one of the Governor's bills. By an apparent agreement of patrons, the remaining bills were tabled in favor of the Governor's HB1063. HB1063 was recommended for reporting on an overwhelming vote of 7 to 1.
Thanks to the school board members, superintendents, and others who come this evening in support of this important measure. We will continue our efforts to get this bill through the House and will work to pick up the votes needed on the Senate side.