Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Update from the first House Education Subcommittee on Education Innovation

The House Education subcommittee on education innovation met this morning for their first gathering of the year.  While there were several bills before the committee many were taken by for the day to work on bill language. However, there were two bills that the committee did take action on. 

HB389 (LaRock) – You may remember a similar bill last year from Delegate LaRock creating the Parental Choice Education Savings Account. Last year we were successful in defeating this bill in the Senate but Delegate LaRock has decided to bring the bill back again this year with a broader focus. The bill allows a parent of any student to apply to the residing school division for a one-year, renewable Parental Choice Education Savings Account that consists of 90 percent of the SOQ per pupil state funds in which the student resides. The bill also permits the parent to use the Savings Account funds for education-related expenses of the student, including tuition, deposits, fees, and required textbooks at a private, sectarian, or nonsectarian elementary or secondary school or preschool that is located in the Commonwealth and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, or national origin. The bill also allows the parent to put up to $2,000 in a college fund.  The bill was reported from the subcommittee and referred to the House Appropriations Committee on a close 5-4 vote. It will be heard tomorrow morning in full committee.

HB259 (LaRock) – Again you may remember a similar bill from last year. This year’s version prohibits the Board of Education from implementing the Common Core State Standards without prior approval of the General Assembly but permits the Board of Education to continue or create an educational standard or assessment that coincidentally is included in the Common Core State Standards. The bill was reported from the subcommittee and will be heard tomorrow morning in full committee.

Check back tomorrow for more updates from the General Assembly.