P.O. BOX 2120



April 11, 2003



Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



Final Legislative Reports for the 2003 General Assembly


This memorandum provides information regarding legislation passed by the 2003 session of the Virginia General Assembly that is of interest to school superintendents and division personnel.


The final legislative reports for the 2003 General Assembly are posted on the Department of Educations website at: This site provides links to two reports:


        2003 Legislative Tracking Reports


These reports reflect final action on education-related legislation tracked by the Department of Education. The history of any bill or resolution, all amendments, and the text of the final version are available by clicking on the bill or resolution number shown in the Legislative Tracking Report.


        Final 2003 General Assembly Session Legislative Report (PDF)


This report is in two parts. The first part provides an index, organized by category, of all of the education-related legislation tracked by the Department of Education that passed in the General Assembly this year. The second part provides a summary of each bill and the section of the Code of Virginia that was affected. You may access information about each bill and its text by clicking on the bill number in the summary section of the report.


Required Actions


All legislation becomes effective on July 1, 2003, unless otherwise indicated. Any information about actions that may or must be taken by local school boards is included in the summary of each bill. These bills include:


Administrative Issues/FOIA


HB 1651 Enlarges the exemption from release of information provided in an employment discrimination complaint.


SB 1203 Authorizes electronic meetings by boards whose members reside or work more than 55 miles from the meeting location.


Career and Technical Education


SB 1099 Clarifies the authority of school divisions to operate joint comprehensive schools offering all-day academic programs and career and technical education.




HB 1464 Establishes a general achievement diploma for students who meet requirements established by Board of Education regulations.


HB 1503 Creates a civics education seal.


Drivers Licenses and Education


HB 2404 Provides that home-schooled students may receive behind-the-wheel driving training from a parent.




HB 2124 Permits Governors Schools operated jointly to select their fiscal agent.


Health and School Safety


HB 1834 Requires scoliosis screening for public school students.


HB 2615 Clarifies the prohibition against the possession

SB 1071 of drugs on or near school property with intent to distribute.


HB 2621 Requires annual school safety audits.


HB 2671 Extends the time when training and employment standards will be applicable to school security officers.


HB 2680 Clarifies the reporting of assault and assault and battery to law enforcement.


HB 2763 Permits firearms on school property in locked trunks.


SB 659 Requires testing of school board employees for blood-borne pathogens.




HB 1498 Permits Virginias civic values to be taught as part of the character education requirements.


HB 1757 Requires remediation of certain students.


HB 2442 Requires school boards to identify students with limited English proficiency and enroll them in appropriate instructional programs.


Local School Boards/Divisions


HB 1518 Requires school board policies to permit equal access by the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.


HB 1716 Permits student Social Security Numbers waivers and assignment of alternative numbers.


HB 1896 Requires school board employees compensation

SB 717 schedule to ensure payment of contract personnel with the first month of employment if school begins prior to August 15.


HB 2140 Requires the posting of the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution in all public schools.


HB 2288 Requires each local department of social services

SB 1043 and school division to adopt a written interagency agreement for investigating child abuse and neglect complaints against school personnel.


HB 2438 Clarifies the rehiring of retired teachers without loss of retirement benefits.


HB 2757 Requires data on convictions of school personnel on applications for employment.


HB 2806 Permits local school boards to establish a four-day school week.


SB 987 Permits displaying American flag decals on school buses and prescribes criteria.


Standards of Quality/Standards of Accreditation


SB 779 Discontinues the required administration of the Stanford Achievement Test Series, Ninth Edition (Stanford Nine) assessment.


Student Conduct


HB 1907 Provides for student expulsion for possession of an air rifle or BB gun.


HB 2091 Permits voluntary and mandatory drug testing in accordance with Board of Education guidelines.




HB 1790 Clarifies the timelines for decisions and appeals of teacher grievances.


HB 2254 Requires notification of a reduction in force for teachers.


SB 941 Clarifies the timelines for the establishment of a fact-finding panel to hear a teacher grievance.


I hope this information will assist you in planning and implementing the state legislative changes with your school boards. Technical support to implement the new legislative responsibilities is available from the Department of Education.


Please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Cynthia Cave, director of policy,(mail to: (804)225-2092 if you need additional information.