Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The 2015 General Assembly Session begins

Today marks the start of the 2015 General Assembly session. For the next 46 days, the 140 members of the legislature will debate thousands of bills ranging from education and transportation to public safety and veterans affairs. Additionally, they must work together with the governor to ensure a balanced budget for the Commonwealth.

Right now there are thousands of bills that have been filed with the House and Senate Clerk's Office and we expect to see many more coming online in the next few days. Some of the major themes we’re seeing in education include additional changes to the Standards of Learning assessments and school accountability, local control of the school calendar, flexibility with educational technology funding, changes to restraint and seclusion policy and graduation requirements, and virtual and blended learning. Your VSBA lobbying team has been very busy meeting with legislators, reading bills, and developing our overall strategy to ensure success for our students, schools, and local school boards. 

Be sure to visit the VSBA Legislative Blog throughout session to get updates and details about what’s happening in Richmond. Additionally, we’ll be providing quick updates on the VSBA Twitter Handle – @VASchoolBoards. I would also encourage you to review the “Keys to Success for the 2015 General Assembly Session” published in the latest edition of the VSBA newsletter.

Finally, don’t forget to attend the upcoming VSBA Capital Conference January 26-27 at the Richmond Marriott. This conference offers you an opportunity before crossover to interact with your legislators and advocate for your school division and public education. You will receive key presentations on Virginia’s political landscape and updates on legislation and the state budget. In addition to the presentations, you will have the opportunity to hear directly from Governor Terry McAuliffe, Secretary of Education Anne Holton, Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Steve Staples, and Virginia Chamber of Commerce President Barry DuVal as well as attend the VSBA Legislative Reception.

We look forward to seeing you in Richmond!