COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO 81

April 13, 2007

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Billy K. Cannaday, Jr.

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Final Legislative Report for the 2007 General Assembly

 

This memorandum provides information regarding legislation passed by the 2007 session of the Virginia General Assembly that is of interest to school superintendents and division personnel.

 

The final legislative reports for the 2007 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, 2007, 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 Adds an additional response to Freedom of Information Act requests to address situations when a public body receives a request for public records under FOIA but cannot find the requested records or the requested records do not exist. 

HB 2311 Establishes the Public Charter School Fund for the purposes of establishing or supporting public charter schools in the Commonwealth that stimulate the development of alternative public education programs. The Board of Education must establish criteria for making distributions from the Fund to a public charter school requesting moneys from the Fund.

 

HB 2350 Provides that a school board's application to the Board of Education for a loan from the Literary Fund must be authorized by the governing body and the school board. The Board may not disburse any proceeds of any approved loan before its receipt of the concurrent approval of the governing body at the time of initial disbursement and an acceptable opinion of bond counsel obtained by the local governing body as to the validity of the loan. The bill also repeals 22.1-154 through 22.1-157, that provide for: (i) the examination of title to property on application for loan, (ii) the certificate of the clerk of court or copy of lease on the application for a loan, and (iii) the submission of the application and certificate of title to the Attorney General.

 

 

HB 2381 Specifies that the Virginia Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act can be used for projects related to the technology and infrastructure necessary to deploy wireless broadband services to schools, businesses, and residential areas. 

 

HB 2527 Requires agencies covered by the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act to respond to a data subject for inspection of his record in five working days after receiving the request or within a time period as may be mutually agreed upon by the agency and the data subject.  The bill references the pertinent section of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to indicate that requests made under the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act are to be handled in the same manner as requests under FOIA.

 

SB 1111 Adds a closed meeting exemption under the Freedom of Information Act for the discussion of reports or plans related to the security of any governmental facility, building or structure, or the safety of persons using such facility, building or structure.

 

SB 1039 Prohibits the use of wireless telecommunication devices for drivers holding provisional driver's licenses while operating a motor vehicle, except in an emergency or when parked or stopped.

 

Health and School Safety

 

HB 1707

SB 1346 Provides that as a condition of awarding a contract for the provision of services that require the contractor or his employees to have direct contact with students on school property during regular school hours, the school board must require the contractor to provide certification that all employees who will have direct contact with students have not been convicted of a felony or any offense involving the sexual molestation or physical or sexual abuse or rape of a child.  The bill also provides that the requirement be waived in emergency situations when it is reasonably anticipated that the contractor or his employees will have no direct contact with students. 

 

HB 2035

SB 1230 Requires girls to receive three properly spaced doses of human papillomavirus (HPV)vaccine. The first dose shall be administered before the child enters the sixth grade. A parent or guardian, at the parent or guardians sole discretion, may elect for the child not to receive the vaccine after having reviewed materials describing the link between the human papillomavirus and cervical cancer approved for such use by the Board. This bill contains a delayed effective date of October 1, 2008.

 

HB 2214

SB 974 Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Health Commissioner to work together to combat childhood obesity and other chronic health conditions that affect school-age children.

 

HB 2271 Requires that local school boards annually review the written school crisis, emergency management, and medical emergency response plans and that the local division certify that review in writing to the Virginia Center on School Safety no later than August 31 of each year.

 

HB 2344 Provides that an adult who has been convicted of a sexually violent offense is guilty of a Class 6 felony if he enters or is present, during school hours, any property he knows or has reason to know is a public or private elementary or secondary school or child day center property, unless he (i) is lawfully voting; (ii) is a student enrolled at the school; or (iii) has received a court order allowing him to enter upon such property.

 

HB 2631

SB 915 Provides that school personnel are authorized to disclose identifying information from a student's education record for the purpose of furthering the ability of the juvenile justice system to effectively serve the student prior to adjudication.  Identifying information may be disclosed to attorneys for the Commonwealth, court services units, juvenile detention centers or group homes, mental and medical health agencies, state and local children and family service agencies, and the Department of Juvenile Justice and to the staff of such agencies.

 

HB 3017 Establishes the Youth Internet Safety Fund for the purposes of education, public awareness, and other activities to promote the safe and secure use of the Internet.  The bill contains an emergency clause and provides that the Virginia Public Procurement Act does not apply to expenditures from the fund.

 

Instruction

 

HB 1916 Requires the Board of Education to incorporate instruction on dating violence and the characteristics of abusive relationships into its curriculum guidelines for family life education.

 

HB 2040 Extends the sunset for the Advisory Council on Career and Technical Education until July 1, 2012. The bill repeals the second enactment clause of the Act creating the Council that set the original sunset date of July 1, 2007.

 

HB 2601 Requires the Department of Education to make available information regarding the commemoration of Veterans Day.

 

HB 2837 Requires the Department of Education to make information available to local school divisions regarding the commemoration of George Washington's birthday.

 

Local School Boards and Divisions

 

HB 1729 Increases the maximum speed limit to 60 miles per hour for school buses traveling on interstates and highways where the speed limit is greater than 55 miles per hour.

 

HB 1810 Authorizes any popularly elected school board to appoint a qualified voter who is a resident of the county, city, or town to cast the deciding vote in case of a tie vote of the school board.

 

HB 1862 Requires that any severance benefits provided to any departing official appointed by a local school board shall be publicly announced by that school board prior to such departure.

 

HB 1920 Provides that local school boards may display decals relating to local school division bus safety hotlines.  Local school divisions must bear the cost of such decals.

 

HB 2092 Eliminates the requirement that a student must have attended a public school in Virginia while residing with his custodial parent prior to the parent's deployment outside the United States in order to attend school without paying tuition.  The bill clarifies that children of parents who have been deployed outside the United States may continue to attend school in the Virginia school division they attended immediately prior to the deployment without paying tuition. The bill eliminates the conflict between 22.1-3 and 22.1-5.

 

HB 2216 Provides that the Board of Education may authorize a local school board's request to assess a surcharge in order to further recover program costs that exceed state funds distributed through basic aid to school divisions offering driver education programs.

 

HB 2302 Permits local school boards to enter into agreements with nonpublic schools in the school division to provide student transportation for a fee to and from the nonpublic schools.

 

HB 2371 Authorizes the participating school boards of a joint school, including academic year Governor's Schools operated by two or more school divisions, to select the fiscal agent for the joint school from among the treasurers of the participating localities. The participating school boards must agree and the respective local governing bodies must approve any such selection. This bill contains an emergency clause that makes it effective upon passage. Also permits, with the approval of the participating school boards and the respective local governing bodies, that title to property acquired for a joint school shall be vested in the governing body of such school.

 

HB 2893 Authorizes public schools and public institutions of higher education in Virginia to retain copies of enrolled students' birth certificates as part of the students' records.

 

HB 3084 Requires that any new bus placed into service on or after July 1, 2007, shall be equipped with warning devices that, at a minimum, include a nonsequential system of red traffic warning lights, a warning sign with flashing lights, and a crossing control arm such that when the bus door is opened, the red warning lights, warning sign with flashing lights, and crossing control arm are automatically activated.

 

No Child Left Behind

 

HB 2542

SB 1212 These are 1 bills that require the Board of Education to request waivers from those provisions of NCLB that are fiscally and programmatically burdensome to school divisions and are not instructionally sound or in the best interest of children. The bills allow the Board to withdraw from NCLB and the Attorney Generals office to bring suit against the U.S. Department of Education if waivers are not approved. The Board is required to report on the status of its waiver requests to the General Assembly by October 1, 2007. If any or all of the waiver requests are not approved by the U.S. Department of Education, the Board is required to transmit a summary of all requests that have not been approved to the Virginia Congressional delegation for consideration in the ESEA reauthorization.

 

Special Education

 

HB 1962

SB 847 Provides that due process procedures prescribed by the Board of Education must require that testimony be given under oath or affirmation administered by the hearing officer.

 

Standards of Accreditation/Standards of Quality

 

HB 1978

SB 1148 Requires local school boards to include in their annual report to the Board of Education, the number of career and technical education completers that graduated. The bill defines a "career and technical education completer" as a student who has met the requirements for a career and technical concentration or specialization and all requirements for high school graduation or an approved alternative education program.

 

HB 2039

SB 1147 Directs the Board of Education to establish the requirements for a technical diploma. The diploma must meet or exceed the requirements of a standard diploma and include a concentration in career and technical education. Also creates an advanced technical diploma that shall be awarded to students who meet the requirements for the advanced studies diploma and also fulfill a concentration in career and technical education.

 

SB 751 Requires the Board of Education to include the types of activities that qualify as community service and the number of hours required in its criteria for awarding a diploma seal for excellence in civics education and understanding of our state and federal constitutions and the democratic model of government for the standard and advanced studies diplomas.

 

SB 795 Makes technical changes to Standards 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 of the Standards of Quality. Provides for the phasing out of the eighth grade cumulative history test in the 2007-2008 school year, and the implementation of the United States History to 1877, United States History: 1877 to the Present, and Civics and Economics tests in the 2008-2009 school year. Requires that prevention, intervention, and remediation programs include components that are research-based. Local school boards must also have in place an early identification program for students with difficulties in mathematics. Adds effective classroom management to the listing of professional development programs to be provided to teachers and principals and requires that division-wide comprehensive plans include strategies for improving student achievement, particularly the achievement of educationally at-risk students. Requires local school divisions to post a current copy of the school division policies, including the Student Conduct Policy, on the local division's website while ensuring that printed copies of such policies are available, as needed, to citizens who do not have Internet access.

 

Teachers/Administrators

 

HB 1913 Revises and reorganizes the section of the Code related to the Teaching Scholarship Loan Fund to make it consistent with language in the general appropriation act. The bill revises the intent of the Program, so that it is established to (i) increase the number of teacher candidates pursuing careers in critical teacher shortage areas, as defined by the Board of Education; (ii) expand eligibility to teacher candidates, including graduate students and paraprofessionals, enrolled full-time or part-time in approved teacher education programs; and (iii) increase diversity of persons pursuing careers in teaching, including male teacher candidates enrolled in elementary or middle school education programs and minority teacher candidates enrolled in any teaching endorsement area.

 

HB 2370

SB 1218 Increases the monthly health insurance credit for retired teachers. The bill eliminates an overall cap to the credit, and adds retired full-time, salaried employees of local school boards as recipients of the credit. The bill establishes a formula for determining the monthly health insurance credit for teachers whose retirement was for disability. The bill is applicable for current and future retirees from positions as teachers or full-time, salaried employees of local school boards.

 

A separate superintendents memorandum will be issued to provide additional information regarding the changes to the Standards of Quality made by SB 795.

 

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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