Monday, February 24, 2014

Action Alert – “Labor Day” bills in Senate Education and Health on Thursday

There are three “Labor Day” bills that the Senate Public Education recommended reporting Friday morning, House Bills 333, 610 and 577.

House Bill 333 (Greason) repeals the so-called “King’s Dominion law” and allows a local school board to set its own calendar and determine the opening date of the school year.

House Bill 610 (Robinson) is a different and creative take on the Labor Day bills. It allows a local school board to set its own school calendar and opening date. However, the division must close schools from the Thursday before through Labor Day or Friday before through the Tuesday after Labor Day. The members have been very intrigued by the Del. Robinson’s novel approach to this issue.

House Bill 577 (Stolle) allows a school board to set its academic calendar for any school within the division that has failed to meet full accreditation status. Additionally, it allows the school board to set its academic calendar for the entire division if more than 15 percent of all schools within the division have failed to achieve full accreditation status.

We request that you contact the members of the Senate Education and Health committee and urge them to SUPPORT all three of these bills. Our preference is House Bill 333, which allows for full flexibility by the local school board, but we believe House Bill 577 or House Bill 610 may have a better chance of passing.

Please contact Senators Lucas, Saslaw, Howell, Martin, Newman, Edwards, Locke, Barker, Miller, Smith, McWaters, Black, Carrico, Puller, and Favola by 7am on Thursday and ask them to SUPPORT local control of the school calendar and House Bills 333, 610 and 577. You can find the contact information for your legislators here.

Thank you for your continued support.