Monday, January 21, 2013

Senate Public Education Subcommittee

We had a very busy evening in the Senate Education and Health Committee’s subcommittee on Public Education. The purpose of a subcommittee in the Senate is to determine whether to recommend that the full committee either pass or kill a bill. In other words the subcommittee simply makes a recommendation to the full committee. Subcommittees in the House work entirely differently. If a subcommittee in the House does not recommend a bill, it never comes before the full committee.

The Senate subcommittee recommended that the following bills be passed by the full committee:

SB 960 (Barker) – The bill would permit students living with non-parents in a kinship care arrangement to attend the schools in the school division in which the non-parents live. The school system can require the natural parents to execute a power of attorney giving the non-parents the right to make educational decisions for their children.

SB 986 (Stuart) – This bill would require CPR training and an AED in each school. The patron of the bill agreed to work with us to correct certain problems with the bill.

SB 1157 (Barker) – This bill creates the Commonwealth Teaching Fellows Program which has the goal of preparing career-switchers and recent college graduates to teach in areas including STEM and critical teaching shortage areas.

SB 1162 (Barker) – Directs the Board of Education to promulgate regulations providing for expedited retakes of SOL tests at every grade level.

SB 1171 (Blevins) – The is one of the Governor’s bills that adds additional grades to the requirement that school systems provide early intervention services based on a student’s performance on reading and math tests.

SB 1172 (Blevins) – Another Governor’s bill that provides school systems flexibility in meeting Standard 2 personnel staffing standards.

SB 1248 (Black) – This bill directs the Board of Education to develop guidelines for a new High School to Work Partnership to foster partnerships between high schools and local businesses to create apprenticeships, internships, and job shadow programs.