Wednesday, February 18, 2015

House Education Committee update

This morning the House Education Committee held one of its final meetings of the 2015 session. The members took action on the last batch of K-12 education bills which will now go to the House floor for a vote. Below is a summary of actions taken at today’s committee meeting.

SB727 (Black) requires the Board of Education, in consultation with the SOL Innovation Committee to redesign the School Performance Report Card by July 1, 2016 so that it is more effective in communicating to parents and the public the status and achievements of the public schools and local school divisions in the Commonwealth. The bill also repeals the A-F school grading system created in the 2013 Session and amended in the 2014 Session. VSBA worked extensively with Senator Black and Delegate Greason on the substitute bill language that fully repeals the A-F school grading system and works with the Board of Education on a redesign of the School Performance Report Card. SB727 was reported with the substitute on a 21-1 vote.

SB821 (Miller) repeals the Opportunity Educational Institution. The bill reported on a 21-1 vote.

SB982 (Garrett) allows local school divisions to waive the requirements for students to receive 140 clock hours of instruction to earn a standard unit of credit upon providing satisfactory proof to the Board of Education. The bill reported on a 19-3 vote.

SB1105 (Miller) establishes the School Health Advisory Board to advise the General Assembly on health policy that affects elementary and secondary schools and students. This bill was reported and referred to the Appropriations Committee on a 17-5 vote.

SB1286 (McDougle) was reported unanimously from the committee. The bill requires each local school division to publish the annual school budget in line item form on its website. Current law does not require the published budget to be in line item form.

SB1383 (Black) prohibits a division superintendent or local school board from disclosing to the Department of Education or any other person or entity outside of the local school division information provided by a student or parent for the purpose of notifying the superintendent that the student will be receiving home instruction or for claiming a religious exemption from school attendance. The bill was reported unanimously from the committee.

Check back tomorrow for updates from the Senate Education and Health Committee where they will take action on 30 education-related bills.