Today, VSBA staff attended the full meeting of Senate Education and Health. Numerous bills of interest to the Association were discussed:
HB 3 (Landes) – This bill would require the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (the Council), in consultation with the Department of Education and each public institution of higher education, to establish (i) quality standards for dual enrollment courses, including quality standards for course instructors, materials, and content; (ii) a process by which dual enrollment courses that meet or exceed such quality standards are certified as universal transfer courses that satisfy course credit or other academic requirements at any public institution of higher education; and (iii) a policy for the satisfaction of course credit or other academic requirements through the successful completion of universal transfer courses by entering students that (a) identifies the course credit or other academic requirements of each public institution of higher education that the student satisfies by successfully completing a universal transfer course and (b) ensures, to the extent possible, that the satisfaction of course credit or other academic requirements is consistent across each public institution of higher education and each such universal transfer course. The provisions of the bill would replace existing provisions that require the Council and each public institution of higher education to establish policies relating to course credit for dual enrollment courses but that do not provide for quality standards or the universal transfer designation for such courses. VSBA supports this biThe committee conformed bill to HB 919 (Jones). The committee reported the bill 15-0.
HB 167 (Miyares) – This bill would require the Board of Education to establish criteria for awarding a diploma seal for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for the Board of Education-approved diplomas. Under current law, such diploma seal is limited in scope to technology and advanced mathematics. The committee reported the bill (13-0).
HB 329 (Yancey) – This bill would require the Board of Education, in establishing high school graduation requirements, to permit students to exceed a full course load in order to participate in courses offered by an institution of higher education that lead to a degree, certificate, or credential at such institution. VSBA supports this bill. The committee reported the bill (12-0).
HB 443 (Carroll Foy) – This bill would require the Board of Education, in establishing high school graduation requirements, to (i) provide for the substitution of computer coding course credit for any foreign language course credit required to graduate with a standard or advanced diploma for children with disabilities and (ii) permit any English language learner who previously earned a sufficient score on an Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate foreign language examination to substitute computer coding course credit for any foreign language course credit required to graduate, except in cases in which such foreign language course credit is required to earn an advanced diploma offered by a nationally recognized provider of college-level courses. The committee reported the bill (13-0).
HB 632 (Bulova) – This bill would require the Board of Education (Board) to (i) establish content standards and curriculum guidelines for courses in career investigation; (ii) develop, in consultation with certain stakeholders, resource materials that are designed to ensure that students have the ability to further explore interest in career and technical education opportunities in middle and high school; and (iii) disseminate such career investigation resource materials to each school board. The bill directs each school board to require each middle school student to take at least one course or alternative program of instruction in career investigation. The committee reported the bill (14-0).
HB 803 (O'Quinn) – This bill would extend eligibility to participate in programs of preparation and instruction to take a high school equivalency examination approved by the Board of Education to individuals who are at least 16 years of age. Under current law, such programs are available only to adults who did not complete high school, students who have been granted permission by their division superintendent, and those who have been ordered by a court to participate in the program. The committee reported the bill (14-0).
HB 829 (Bagby) – This bill would clarify that each parent of a school-age child in the Commonwealth is required to cause his child to attend school. Current law requires each such parent to send his child to school. The committee reported the bill (14-0).
HB 1044 (Torian) – This bill would require each school board to adopt policies to (i) prohibit abusive work environments in the school division, (ii) provide for the appropriate discipline of any school board employee who contributes to an abusive work environment, and (iii) prohibit retaliation or reprisal against a school board employee who alleges an abusive work environment or assists in the investigation of an allegation of an abusive work environment. The bill would define an abusive work environment as one in which a school board employee engages in conduct in the workplace that a reasonable person would find hostile and that is severe enough to cause physical harm or psychological harm to another school board employee. The bill was amended in subcommittee to remove certain restrictive language to school boards. The committee reported the bill (14-1).
HB 1125 (Landes) – This bill would make several changes to the teacher licensure process, including (i) permitting teachers with a valid out-of-state license, with full credentials and without deficiencies, to receive licensure by reciprocity without passing additional licensing assessments and (ii) specifying that for the purpose of Board of Education regulations for the approval of teacher education programs, the term "education preparation program" includes four-year bachelor's degree programs in teacher education. VSBA supports the bill. The committee reported the bill with a financial clause 15-0.
HB 1320 (Habeeb) – This bill would require the Department of Education to develop and distribute to each local school division a resource guide on the local development and implementation of performance assessments that includes (i) detailed recommendations for methods of ensuring (a) the quality, validity, and reliability of such assessments, such as assurances, sampling, and auditing, and (b) the alignment of such assessments with the desired student outcomes of critical thinking, creative thinking, collaboration, communication, and citizenship and (ii) a collection of division-level performance assessment exemplars. VSBA supports the bill. The committee carried the bill over to 2019.
HB 1370 (Pogge) – This bill would clarify that a parent who provides home instruction through a program of study or curriculum is required to provide his child with such program of study or curriculum to satisfy the requirements for the home instruction of such child. The committee reported the bill (15-0).
HB 1530 (Davis) – This bill would require the Board of Education to make recommendations to the Governor and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Education and Health no later than November 1, 2018, relating to (i) strategies for eliminating any stigma associated with high school career and technical education pathways and the choice of high school students to pursue coursework and other educational opportunities in career and technical education and related fields such as computer science and robotics and (ii) the consolidation of the standard and advanced diplomas into a single diploma and the creation of multiple endorsements for such diploma to recognize student competencies and achievements in specific subject matter areas. The committee reported the bill (15-0).x