COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 83

April 22, 2005

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Final Legislative Report for the 2005 General Assembly

 

This memorandum provides information regarding legislation passed by the 2005 session of the Virginia General Assembly that is of interest to school superintendents and division personnel.

 

The final legislative reports for the 2005 General Assembly are posted on the Department of Educations website at: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/VDOE/PolicyPub/legis98. 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 in this memo or in the Final Legislative Tracking Reports.

 

Required Actions

 

All legislation becomes effective on July 1, 2005, 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

 

HB 1791 Makes several clarifying and technical changes to the Virginia Public Records Act. The bill removes obsolete definitions, clarifies existing definitions of "archival records" and "public records," and creates a definition for "private record." Also codifies current practice by clarifying that a public record may not be destroyed or discarded unless certain requirements are met.

 

HB 1967 Provides that upon written request by a local school board or division superintendent, the Department of Planning and Budget shall develop, coordinate, and manage a review process related to the school divisions central operations, including 1) overhead; 2) human resources; 3) procurement; 4) facilities use and management; 5) financial management; 6) transportation; 7) technology planning; and 8) energy management. School divisions are required to pay 25 percent of the cost of the efficiency review.

 

HB 2461

SB 1304 Requires the Board of Education to promulgate regulations allowing the Department of Education to cooperate with other state departments in licensing and certification of residential schools for students with disabilities, to cooperate with these agencies in fulfilling their respective licensing and certification responsibilities and in reducing and simplifying the regulations involved in the licensing and certification of group homes and residential facilities for children when such homes or facilities include an educational program. Also specifies what the regulations must include.

 

SB 1107 Makes several changes in the Public Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002, including authorizing the establishment of an interim agreement to provide for partial planning and development activities while other aspects of a qualifying project are being negotiated and analyzed. Also (i) requires the adoption of formal timelines for the review of proposals and outlining the process for review, (ii) provides for accelerated review for priority projects, and (iii) adds factors that a responsible public entity may consider when selecting proposals. Also, provides a process for revisions to the current model guidelines by September 30, 2005.

 

Brown v. Board of Education 50th Anniversary Observance

 

HB 2588

SB 1034 Amends, reorganizes, and moves the statute creating the Brown v. Board of Education Scholarship Program and Fund to Title 30 of the Code of Virginia.

 

Finance

 

HB 1685 Empowers Virginia Beach Public Schools to sell property to the Virginia Department of Transportation or the Commonwealth Transportation Commissioner under certain conditions.

 

HB 1945 Expands the definition of qualifying project in the Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002 to include any improvements necessary or desirable to any unimproved state or locally owned real estate.

 

Health and School Safety

 

HB 1615 Directs the Center for School Safety to prescribe a standardized report format for school safety audits, additional reporting criteria, and procedures for report submission, which may include instructions for electronic submission.

 

HB 1716 Requires principals and division superintendents, in reporting certain serious incidents and crimes for annual recordation and publication by the Department of Education, to accurately indicate any offenses, arrests, or charges as recorded by law enforcement authorities and required to be reported by such authorities.

 

HB 1743 Adds self-injected epinephrine to those medications that public school students diagnosed with asthma or anaphylaxis, or both, may self-administer under certain conditions. Provides immunity from civil liability for school and health personnel who supervise the self-administration of auto-injectable epinephrine by a student. Removes liability from any principal or school board employee for any civil damages for any injuries resulting from the misuse of auto-injectable epinephrine.

 

HB 2217 Adds possession of a firearm, stun weapon, or taser on school property to the list of crimes defined as a predicate criminal act. Also provides for enhanced punishments for gang activities taking place at or near schools, colleges, and school buses.+

 

HB 2535 Permits a person who has a valid concealed handgun permit to possess a concealed handgun while in a motor vehicle in a parking lot, traffic circle, or other means of vehicular ingress or egress to the school. Clarifies existing provisions in the Code regarding the possession of a firearm, stun weapon, or other weapon on a portion of any property open to the public used for school-sponsored functions or extracurricular activities while such functions or activities are taking place.

 

HB 2832 Requires the Virginia High School League to establish rules making a public school student athlete who uses anabolic steroids not prescribed by a licensed physician ineligible to participate for two years in interscholastic sports. Also requires the Board of Education to suspend or revoke the administrative or teaching license of any person who knowingly or willfully with the intent to compromise the outcome of an athletic competition, procures, sells, or administers anabolic steroids or causes such drugs to be procured, sold, or administered to a student who is a member of a school athletic team, or fails to report the use of such drugs by a student to the school principal and division superintendent.

 

Instruction

 

HB 1769 Creates a 23-member advisory Commission on Civics Education to educate students on the importance of citizen involvement in a representative government, to promote the study of state and local government among the citizenry, and to enhance communication and collaboration among organizations in the commonwealth that conduct civic education programs.

 

SB 950 Requires, by July 1, 2006, instruction in principles of the American economic system in the public middle and high schools. Also requires the Board of Education to develop and approve objectives for economics education and financial literacy at the middle and high school levels and to provide for the systematic infusion of economic principles in the relevant Standards of Learning and in career and technical education programs. Requires the Department of Education to confer with the State Corporation Commissions Bureau of Financial Institutions, and financial and relevant professional organizations in the development of guidelines for such literacy objectives.

 

SB 969 Creates the Entrepreneurship Education Program consisting of grants administered by the Board of Education to public secondary schools to support innovative educational programs to assist students in the development of their entrepreneurial, academic, and life skills.

 

SB 1130 Requires physical education in elementary schools to include activities such as, but not limited to, cardiovascular, muscle building, or stretching exercises, as appropriate.

 

Local School Boards/Divisions

 

HB 1767 Requires local school boards to implement a plan to notify students receiving home instruction and their parents of the availability of Advanced Placement (AP) tests and Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Tests (PSAT) and the availability of financial assistance to low-income and needy students to take these examinations.

 

HB 1789 Requires the Department of Correctional Education, in cooperation with the Department of Juvenile Justice, to furnish local school boards academic and career and technical education and related achievement information when children are returned to the community from the departments care.

 

HB 1989 Increases the maximum salary to be paid to the members of the Salem City School Board.
 

HB 2382 Makes it a class-4 misdemeanor for any person to knowingly make a false statement concerning the residency of a child in a particular school division or school attendance zone for the purposes of avoiding tuition charges or enrollment in a school outside the attendance zone in which the student resides.

 

HB 2832 Requires the Virginia High School League to establish rules making a public school student athlete who uses anabolic steroids not prescribed by a licensed physician ineligible to participate for two years in interscholastic sports. Also requires the Board of Education to suspend or revoke the administrative or teaching license of any person who knowingly or willfully with the intent to compromise the outcome of an athletic competition, procures, sells, or administers anabolic steroids or causes such drugs to be procured, sold, or administered to a student who is a member of a school athletic team, or fails to report the use of such drugs by a student to the school principal and division superintendent.

 

SB 767 Increases the maximum salary to be paid to members of the Salem City School Board and the Richmond County School Board.

 

SB 981 Provides that unless a court order has been issued to the contrary, the non-custodial parent of a student enrolled in a public school or day care center must be included, upon the request of the non-custodial parent, as an emergency contact for events occurring during school or day care activities.

 

SB 1006 Requires the immediate enrollment of a student when the student has been placed in foster care and the social services agency is unable to produce the required documents for enrollment. The person enrolling the student must provide a written statement that sets forth the students age, provides notice of the students good standing in the previous school, and states that the student is in good health and is free from communicable or contagious disease. Additional provisions detail cooperation between school divisions, funding, and the transfer of the scholastic record of the student. Social Services agencies are required to notify relevant school divisions within 72 hours of foster care placement.

 

No Child Left Behind

 

HB 2602

SB 1136 Directs the Board of Education to seek waivers from compliance from certain provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act and to examine the fiscal and other implications for the Commonwealth and its local governments. A report is due to the General Assembly by October 1, 2005.

 

Standards of Accreditation/Standards of Quality

 

HB 1762

SB 779 Amends the Standards of Quality in accordance with changes approved by the Board of Education. Requires the annual evaluation of the division superintendent and a performance evaluation for principals, assistant principals, and supervisors. Changes the language to require using the performance objectives set forth in the Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria for Teachers, Administrators, and Superintendents. Changes the term Six-Year Plan for Educational Technology to Comprehensive Technology Plan for Virginia.

 

 

SB 1045 Directs the Board of Education to provide for the award of verified credits for passing scores on industry certifications, state licensure examinations, and national occupational competency assessments approved by the Board of Education. Requires local boards to report annually to the Board of Education the number of industry certifications obtained and state licensure examinations passed, and report the number as a category on the School Performance Report Card.

 

SJ 403 Requests the Board of Education to study the permanent use of industry certifications and state licensure tests for the award of verified units of credit in the public schools. The Board is required to (1) examine the suitability of additional industry testing programs that could be used as substitute tests for students to earn verified units of credit; (2) determine how to increase the emphasis on career and technical education for creating greater equity and applicability to the verified credit system, including, but not limited to, consideration of increasing the number of potential verified credits obtained through industry certifications; and (3) consider these issues as it reviews and amends the Standards of Accreditation.

 

Student Conduct

 

HB 1573 Directs the Board of Education to add gang-related activity to the Model Student Conduct Policy Guidelines.

 

HB 2223 Requires local school boards to establish schedules for expelled students to apply for readmission to school that are designed to ensure that any initial petition for readmission will be reviewed by the school board or a committee thereof, or the division superintendent. Also provides for an appeal of a denial of a petition for readmission to the full school board.

 

HB 2266

HB 2879 Directs the Board of Education to include bullying in its Model Student Conduct Policy Guidelines and requires school boards to include instruction on the inappropriateness of bullying in their character education programs and bullying provisions in their student conduct codes. It also establishes additional reporting requirements.

 

Teachers/Administrators

 

HB 1781

SB 761 Extends from 2005 to 2010 the current sunset on the requirements that (i) division superintendents identify and report critical shortages to the school board, upon request; and (ii) local school boards identify and report critical shortages to the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Virginia Retirement System.

 

HB 1782 Extends from 2005 to 2010 the sunset provision on the requirement that the Superintendent of Public Instruction annually survey school divisions to identify critical teacher shortage areas and report the shortages to the Virginia Retirement System.

 

HB 1787

SB 817 Extends the 2005 sunset provision to 2007 for allowing retirees to be hired as teachers or administrative personnel without interruption of their retirement benefits. Requires the Virginia Retirement System to determine the actuarial cost of the allowance and report its findings prior to the 2007 Session of the General Assembly.

 

HB 2163

SB 1243 Provides that if, after an investigation of a complaint, the local department of social services determines that the actions or omissions of a teacher, principal, or other person employed by a local school board or employed in a school operated by the Commonwealth were within such employees scope of employment and were taken in good faith in the course of supervision, care, or discipline of students, then the standard in determining if a report of abuse or neglect is founded is whether such acts or omissions constituted gross negligence or gross misconduct.

 

HB 2267 Immunizes school employees or volunteers from civil liability for the prompt good faith reporting to the appropriate school official, in compliance with specified procedures, of any alleged acts of bullying or any crimes.

 

HB 2790 Requires the Board of Education to establish criteria and a procedure to allow persons seeking initial licensure as teachers through an alternative route as defined by Board regulations to substitute experiential learning in lieu of coursework.

 

HB 2912 Requires local school boards to adopt policies providing for leave without pay for school board employees who have a debilitating or life-threatening illness or injury without regard to the employees length of service with the school board.

 

SB 949 Requires that the Board of Educations licensure regulations provide for licensure by reciprocity for individuals who have obtained a valid out-of-state license that is in force at the time the application for a Virginia license is made. A professional teachers assessment for the purposes set forth in 22.1-298 F. of the Code of Virginia and service requirements shall not be imposed for these licensed individuals.

 

SJ 428 Requests the Board of Education to include the mathematics specialist endorsement in the Licensure Regulations for School Personnel. The Board must design the endorsement in a manner to facilitate and improve student achievement in mathematics, and include such endorsement in the current review and revision of the Virginia Licensure Regulations for School Personnel.

 

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

 

Please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Policy and Communications, by telephone at (804)225-2403 or by electronic mail at policy@doe.virginia.gov if you need additional information.

 

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