Friday, February 7, 2014

Final Senate Education and Health Committee before Crossover

On Thursday the Senate Education and Health Committee met for its final meeting before Crossover. The docket contained the last of the Senate Bills and several House Bills that had similar versions already pass the Senate.

SB131 (Newman) and SB637 (Smith) allow school divisions which have a “good cause” waiver from the Board of Education for the 2011-2012 school year to continue to keep their waiver. SB637 was rolled into SB131. SB131 reported on a very close vote of 8-7.

SB588 (Black) reported unanimously 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 (Favola) allows 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 reported and referred to the Finance committee.

SB509 (Barker) failed to report on a 7-8 vote. This bill would require all school boards to offer full day kindergarten instruction of at least 5.5 hours.

SB532 (Stuart) was reported from the committee. This bill requires training for certain staff in the administration of insulin and glucagon and the certification of the Superintendent that the requirements of Board’s Manuel for Training Public School Employees in the Administration of Insulin and Glucagon have been met. Additionally the bill requires that a student with diabetes, with written parental and prescriber consent, be allowed to carry and use supplies and equipment for immediate treatment of their diabetes.

HB401 (A. Howell), HB563 (Hodges) and HB977 (Rust) were all conformed to the Senate versions and reported unanimously. Additionally, HB157 (Minchew) allowing for current students and their siblings to receive priority enrollment for a conversion charter school reported from the full committee.

We’ll continue to monitor these bills as the go to the Senate floor for a vote.