COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 101

May 5, 2006

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Patricia I. Wright

Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Final Legislative Report for the 2006 General Assembly

 

This memorandum provides information regarding legislation passed by the 2006 session of the Virginia General Assembly that is of interest to school superintendents and division personnel.

 

The final legislative reports for the 2006 General Assembly are posted on the Department of Educations website at: http://www.pen.k12.va.us/VDOE/PolicyPub/legis98. A link is also provided, entitled Legislative Tracking Reports, on the Web page. 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, 2006, 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 20 Permits the recording of scholastic records in any way, including, but not limited to, handwriting, print, computer media, video or audio tape, film, microfilm, and microfiche.

 

HB 216

SB 67 Align language in the Code regarding the Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments with amendments to the Standards of Quality made during the 2004 session of the General Assembly. The changes address SOL testing in grades three through eight rather than just grades three, five, and eight.

 

HB 349

SB 66 Amend and clarify 22.1-98 of the Code of Virginia, which requires a reduction in state aid whenever the length of the school term is below 180 days or 990 hours.

 

HB 1059

SB 34 Add a condition to the release of Standards of Learning assessments by the Board of Education that would limit the release of test items if such release limits the ability to test students on demand and provide immediate results in the Web-based assessment system.

 

HB 1582 Provides that any local government or combination of governments within planning district 16 may enter into cooperative agreements with a local school division for the use of school vehicles for public transportation purposes during non-school hours.

 

SB 190 Authorizes the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Director of the Department of Juvenile Justice, and the Commissioner of the Department of Social Services to issue orders of summary suspension of a license to operate a group home or other residential facility for children, in cases of immediate and substantial threat to the health, safety, and welfare of residents.

 

SB 203 Authorizes the Virginia Public School Authority to implement a pass-through of refunding savings to a locality without requiring any further local legislative action on the part of the locality.

 

SB 502 Authorizes a popularly elected school board, having an even number of members, to appoint a tiebreaker in case of a tie vote.

 

SB 683 Requires for the Board of Education and Department of Education, in a 1 law, to collect statewide data on Virginias public school students with limited English proficiency (LEP) and school division programs for such LEP students. A report is due to the General Assembly by December 1, 2006. Additional guidance will be provided regarding the data collection requirements of this bill.

 

SB 715 Extends the length of a temporary loan for the purpose of financing new school buses to replace obsolete buses from five to 10 years.

 

Health and School Safety

 

HB 70

SB 26 Add teacher aides, school bus drivers, and school bus aides to the list of school personnel who are provided a limited exception to charges of simple assault or assault and battery while acting in the course and scope of their official capacity.

 

HB 1279 Requires that principals receive notification from local law enforcement authorities when students in their schools commit certain crimes, whether the student is released to the custody of the parent, or if 18 years of age, is released on bond. Requires any school division superintendent who receives notice that a juvenile has committed an act that would be a crime if committed by an adult to report that information to the principal of the school in which the student is enrolled.

 

SB 75 Changes the term school crisis emergency management plan to school crisis emergency management, and medical emergency response plan and requires that the plan include a medical emergency response plan.

 

Home Instruction

 

HB 1340

SB 499 Amend one of the four options in 22.1-254.1 of the Code to provide that a parent may elect to home school a child if the parent has a high school diploma. The current requirement that a parent must have a baccalaureate degree has been eliminated. SB 499, as approved by the General Assembly, also contains an amendment from the Governor that directs the Department of Education to monitor implementation of the bill and communicate any findings and make such recommendations as may seem appropriate to the 2008 session of the General Assembly.

 

HB 1483 Amends one of the four options under which a parent may home school a child. Currently, a parent may home school if he provides a program of study or curriculum which, in the judgment of the local division superintendent, includes the Standards of Learning (SOL) objectives for language arts and mathematics and provides evidence that the parent is able to provide the child with an adequate education. Beginning July 1, 2006, only one of these two conditions would have to be met, not both. In addition, this bill also changes the provisions concerning the tests needed as evidence of progress provided to division superintendents. Current law states that the tests must be approved by the Board of Education. Beginning July 1, 20006, any nationally-normed standardized achievement test may be used as evidence of progress.

 

HB 1588 Requires local school boards to implement a plan to make Advanced Placement (AP) tests and the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) available to students receiving home instruction.

 

Instruction

 

HB 58 Requires school divisions to integrate a component on Internet safety into the divisions instructional program and include it in their acceptable use policy. A separate superintendents memorandum was issued on April 21, 2006, on the requirements of this bill and is available at the following address: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/administrators/superintendents_memos/2006/adm015.html

 

 

 

Local School Boards and Divisions

 

HB 95

SB 656 Require a parent, guardian, or other person having control or charge of a child of school age to provide to a public school, upon registration of a student, information concerning certain criminal convictions or delinquency adjudications.

 

HB 203 Prohibits state agencies and localities from denying use of certain public facilities to the Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts of the USA.

 

HB 215

SB 62 Require the Board of Education to authorize local school boards to offer, as an elective, comparative religion classes, thereby giving discretion to local school boards to determine whether such elective courses will be offered in their school divisions.

 

HB 240 Provides that tuition shall not be charged to children of active members of the military who are ordered to locate to military housing in a different school division than the one the child is attending at the time of the order to relocate. Such children shall be permitted to continue attending school in the school division they attended immediately prior to the relocation and shall not be charged tuition.

 

HB 347 Increases the number of individuals who are eligible to take the general educational development (GED) test to include those ordered by the courts and those who are 16 years of age or older who have been expelled from school. It also releases any student who has received a GED from compulsory attendance requirements.

 

HB 434 Permits local school divisions to produce and maintain personnel files of all school board employees in digital or paper format.

 

HB 650 Increases the maximum speed limits for school buses to 45 mph on highways with posted speed limits of 55 mph or less and 55 mph on highways with posted speed limits greater than 55 mph.

 

HB 984 Requires local school boards to ensure that schools within a division are registered to receive electronic notice of sex offenders within that school division and to develop and implement policies to provide the information to parents regarding registration of sex offenders and the availability of information on the Registry, and are required to develop protocols governing the release of children to persons who are not their parents. The Virginia Council for Private Education is required to provide the State Police with the location of and e-mail address for every accredited private school in the Commonwealth.

 

HB 1109 Requires local school boards, prior to awarding a contract for the provision of services that require the contractor or his employees to have direct contact with students, to require the contractor and when relevant, any employee who will have direct contact with students, to provide certification that he or she has not been convicted of a felony or any offense involving the sexual molestation or physical or sexual abuse or rape of a child and whether he or she has been convicted of a crime of moral turpitude.

 

HB 1222 Provides that any person who knowingly makes a false statement concerning the residency of a child in a particular school division or school attendance zone, for the purpose of avoiding the tuition charges or enrollment in a school outside the students attendance zone, shall be liable to the school division for tuition charges for the time the student was enrolled in the school division.

 

HB 1242 Provides that in any case in which a questionnaire or survey requesting sexual information of students is to be administered, the school division shall notify the parent in writing not less than 30 days prior to its administration and the parents may exempt their child from participating. It also prohibits the administration of such a questionnaire to students in kindergarten through grades six, unless required by state or federal law.

 

HB 1482 Requires each local school board to receive reports of disappearances of any children living within the school division from local law enforcement. The principal is required to mark the childs file upon such notification. The bill also places additional responsibilities on the school whenever it receives a request for copies of the childs scholastic record.

 

SB 97 Prohibits fire and evacuation drills from being conducted in schools during periods of mandatory testing required by the Board of Education. An enactment clause made this bill effective upon its passage.

 

No Child Left Behind

 

HB 1427

SB 410 Direct the Board of Education, in a 1 law, to develop a plan to identify initiatives or conditions that are currently being funded by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, but are not an integral and necessary component of the commonwealths own Standards of Quality, Standards of Accreditation or Standards of Learning. The plan (due October 1, 2006) will include information on the consequences (including any potential loss of federal funding) if the Commonwealth elected to not comply with the identified components.

 

HB 1428 Encourages the President of the Board of Education, in a 1 law, to request from the U.S. Department of Education, in calendar year 2006, certain waivers and exemptions to the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act. A report shall be made to the General Assembly prior to the 2007 legislative session.

 

Standards of Accreditation/Standards of Quality

 

HB 19 Amends Standard 4 of the Standards of Quality. Directs the Board of Education to collect, analyze, and report high school graduation rates using a standardized formula prescribed by the Board. The standardized formula becomes effective on October 1, 2008.

 

HB 348

SB 39 Amend Standard 3 of the Standards of Quality. Authorize the Board of Education to initiate or cause to be initiated a review or investigation of any alleged breach in security, unauthorized alteration, or improper administration of tests by local school board employees responsible for the distribution or administration of tests.

 

HB 813 Amends Standard 3 of the Standards of Quality. Permits the Board of Education to adopt special provisions related to the administration and use of any Standards of Learning (SOL) test or tests in a content area as applied to accreditation ratings for any period during which the SOL content or assessments in that area are being revised and phased in. Prior to statewide administration of such tests, the Board of Education shall provide notice to local school boards regarding such special provisions.

 

HB 1058

SB 71 Amend the Board of Educations review of the SOQ from odd-numbered to even-numbered years.

 

Student Conduct

 

HB 1516 Requires local school boards to expel students who possess certain weapons on school property and at school sponsored events.

 

Teachers/Administrators

 

HB 1057

SB 74 Clarifies statutes governing teacher licensure regulations and regulation of teacher education programs by repealing the current statutes and reenacting teacher licensure and teacher education program provisions.

 

SB 99 Allows any person retired under the Virginia Retirement System who is then rehired in a licensed instructional or administrative position by a local school board to continue to receive his retirement benefits while employed in such position if the person received the retirement benefit for a certain period prior to the new employment, the person is not receiving an early retirement incentive benefit from any Virginia school division, and is employed in a position designated as a critical shortage area.

 

SB 324 Requires the Director of Human Resource Management to consider the states compensation for teachers relative to member states in the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) when conducting the biennial review of teacher compensation. Requires local school divisions to evaluate teachers with continuing contracts at least once every three years. If a teacher with a continuing contract receives an unsatisfactory evaluation, that teacher must be evaluated within one year of the unsatisfactory evaluation. Each local superintendent is required to annually certify divisionwide compliance with the provisions of this section to the Department.

 

SB 687 Prohibits, through a 1 law, the Board of Education from conditioning full approval of teacher education programs provided by an institution of higher education on the number of students in individual licensure programs, such as pre-kindergarten through three, Spanish, music education, high school physics, or other disciplines, or documented efforts to increase enrollment in such programs.

 

Individual superintendents memoranda will be issued to provide additional information regarding the following legislation that was passed by this years General Assembly and becomes effective on July 1, 2006: one to address the changes to the Standards of Quality, one to address the new provisions for home instruction, and one to address the provisions of HB 1242 regarding questionnaires and surveys. An additional separate superintendents memorandum will be issued to address House Bill 350 and Senate Bills 116 and 676 once final action is taken by the Governor and the General Assembly.

 

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.

 

 

PIW/MJP/jcj