Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday’s Senate Public Education subcommittee

This morning the Senate Public Education subcommittee met for its first meeting after Crossover. The docket included a wide variety of House Bills.

HB197 (Landes) directs the Board of Education to develop guidelines for supplementary written materials used to teach the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United State, the Bill of Rights, the Virginia Statue of Religious Freedom, the Virginia Declaration of Rights and the charters of the Virginia Company of April 10, 1606, May 23, 1609 and March 12, 1612. It further requires that all teachers ensure that supplementary written materials contain accurate restatements of the principles contained in the documents. This bill passed the House last week 70-28 and reported from the subcommittee on a 3-1 vote.

HB307 (Lingamfelter) allows local school boards to provide after-school hunter safety education program for students in grades seven through twelve. Students would be required to pay for the cost of participation in the programs and local school board would be required to provide information about the programs to parents and students. Each program must be taught by a certified hunter safety instructor. The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries would establish a uniform curriculum. The bill reported unanimously from subcommittee.

HB449 (R. Bell) prohibits school board members or employees or the Department of Education from transmitting personally identifiable information from a student’s record to the federal government except as required by federal law or regulation. VSBA has worked with Delegate Bell to amend his original bill. The amended version of HB449 reported unanimously from subcommittee.

HB484 (Kory) reported from subcommittee on a 3-1 vote. The bill would require local school boards to develop and implement policies to prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes on a school bus, on school property, or at a school-sponsored activity. Additionally, local school board must include the prohibition against electronic cigarettes in the student code of conduct.

HB526 (Pogge) would allow local school boards to include the participation in the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program as an option to satisfy all health and physical education requirements for high school students. At the request of the patron the bill was stricken from the docket.

HB720 (McClellan) requires local school boards to set aside a non-restroom location that is shielded from public view to be designed as an area for any mother, who is employed by the local school board or enrolled as a student, to take breaks during the school day to express milk to feed her child until the child reaches the age of one. The bill reported unanimously from subcommittee.

HB725 (McClellan) increases the membership of the Advisory at a Board on Teacher Education and Licensure from 19 to 21 and requires that four of the members serve as faculty members in a teacher preparation program at a public of private college or university. The bill reported unanimously from subcommittee.

HB751 (Rust) would have changed “shall” to “may” in the Code section dealing with the discipline of students for possessing drugs. Current law requires students to be expelled for these offenses, but does allow either a lesser punishment or no punishment if the facts of the particular case warrant it. Due to concerns from stakeholders, the bill was taken by for the week.

HB752 (Rust) was conformed to SB441 (Garrett) which clarifies that the law does not require that students be expelled in cases of weapons and drug offenses. The bill, as conformed, was recommended for reporting unanimously by the subcommittee.

HB1054 (Loupassi) was reported unanimously with an amendment. The bill requires the Board of Education to consider all computer science course credits earned by students to be science course credits, mathematics course credits, or career and technical education credits in establishing course and credit requirements for a high school diploma. Additionally, it requires the Board of Education to develop guidelines addressing how computer science courses can satisfy graduation requirements.

HB1096 (Filler-Corn) was reported unanimously from subcommittee. The bill requires the Board of Education to amend its guidelines for school division policies and procedures on concussions in student-athletes to include “Return to Learn Protocol.”

(O’Quinn) requires that the tie-breaker of any elected school board be elected in the same manner as the other members of the school board. The bill was reported and referred to the Privileges and Elections committee.