Thursday, January 28, 2016

Quick Update from the Senate Education and Health Committee

This morning the Senate Education and Health committee convened for their weekly meeting. The docket was lengthy but only contained a few education related bills. Below is a summary of the bills and committee action. Check back tomorrow for the weekly round-up from Richmond.  

SB368 (McDougle) authorizes the Board of Education to review the accreditation status of a school once every two years or every three years and requires any school that receives a multiyear accreditation status other than full accreditation to be covered by a Board approved multiyear corrective action plan for the duration of the period of accreditation. The bill also provides that when the Board of Education determines a corrective action plan submitted by a local school board is not sufficient to enable all schools within the division to achieve full accreditation, the Board may return the plan to the local school board with directions to submit an amended plan pursuant to Board guidance. The bill was unanimously reported, with amendments, from the committee.

SB612 (Garrett) is identical to HB131. This legislation prohibits school divisions from joining an athletic/interscholastic organization that doesn’t allow home school students to participate in public schools athletics or interscholastic activities. It allows students to be charged reasonable fees for participation. It also states that eligibility of a student receiving home instruction shall be limited to participation the school serving the attendance zone in which the student lives and will be subject to policies governing participation that the local school board may establish. As with previous years the bill was reported from the committee on an 8-7 vote.

SB665 (Marsden) prohibits a middle school student from participating on or trying out for any school athletic team or squad with a predetermined roster, regular practices, and scheduled competitions with other middle schools unless such student has submitted to the school principal a signed report from a licensed physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant acting under the supervision of a licensed physician attesting that such student has been examined and found to be physically fit for athletic competition. The bill was unanimously reported with an amendment from the committee and is a recommendation of the Youth Commission on Youth.