Friday, January 31, 2014

The new Senate Public Education subcommittee

This morning Senator John Miller chaired his first Senate Public Education subcommittee. The members of the subcommittee include Senators Miller, Howell, Newman, Locke and Smith. The docket only consisted of four bills: SB131, SB588, SB637 and SB672.

SB131 and SB637 relate to school division waivers to open prior to Labor Day. SB637 was rolled into SB131 and reported from the subcommittee. It allows any school division which had a “good cause” waiver from the Board of Education for the 2011-2012 school year to continue to keep that waiver.

SB588 reported unanimously from the subcommittee with a substitute. It will allow school boards to review and modify a student’s long-term suspension or expulsion. This bill was put in because there is some confusion among school boards regarding whether school boards have the authority to modify disciplinary decisions.

SB672 will allow the Board of the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind (VSDB) to create criteria and procedures for all out-of-state students to attend VSDB. There will be a tuition charged to these out-of-state students. This bill was at the request of the VSDB and reported unanimously from subcommittee.