COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 111

May 2, 2008

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Billy J. Cannaday, Jr.

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Final Legislative Report for the 2008 General Assembly

 

This memorandum provides information regarding legislation passed by the 2008 session of the Virginia General Assembly that is of interest to school superintendents and division personnel.

 

The final legislative reports for the 2008 General Assembly are posted on the Department of Education's 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, 2008, 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. A separate Superintendent's Memorandum has been sent or will be sent on some of the bills in order to provide more detailed information about them. This has been noted following those bill summaries.

Administrative Issues

 

HB 140

SB 376 Requires local governing bodies and local school boards to publish their approved budgets online annually.

 

HB 769 Requires that all memoranda of lien deposited with the State Treasurer on behalf of the Literary Fund prior to July 1, 2007, be released. Informational Superintendent's Memorandum #70, which was issued on March 28, 2008, provides additional information regarding this bill.

 

HB 770 Establishes technology as a major classification of school funds.

 

HB 1298

SB 517 Requires that all public bodies provide in every written contract that the contractor does not, and shall not during the performance of the contract for goods and services in the Commonwealth, knowingly employ an unauthorized alien as defined in the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.

 

Health and School Safety

 

HB 246

SB 61 Requires the Department of Education to develop a database of local school divisions' best practices regarding nutrition and physical education, including results of wellness-related fitness assessments.

 

HB 567 Provides that every adult who is convicted of a sexually violent offense shall be prohibited from entering and being present upon any property he knows or has reason to know is a public or private elementary or secondary school or child day care property during school hours and during school-related and school-sponsored activities. Currently, the prohibition only applies during school hours.


HB 1218

SB 136 Prohibits the use of wireless telecommunications devices by persons operating school buses, except in emergencies, or when the vehicle is lawfully parked and for the purposes of dispatching. It permits the use of two-way radio devices if it has been authorized by the owner of the school bus.

 

SB 636 Allows each public and private institution of higher education to request from its students complete student records, including any mental health records held by the originating school. These records shall be kept confidential as required by state and federal law, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g.

 

Home Instruction

 

HB 767 Eliminates the requirement that correspondence courses must be approved by the Superintendent of Public Instruction in order to qualify as a suitable program for home instruction.

 

HB 1183 Provides that an appropriate evaluation that a parent may submit to the division superintendent includes but not be limited to: (a) a letter from a person licensed to teach in any state; or (b) a report card or transcript from a community college or college, college distance learning program, or home education correspondence school.

 

Informational Superintendent's Memorandum #80, which was issued on April 4, 2008, provides additional information regarding both of these bills.

 

Instruction

 

HJR 90 Continues the Joint Subcommittee Studying Science, Math, and Technology Education at the Elementary, Secondary, and Undergraduate Levels to review the curricula of existing public schools in the Commonwealth; study accessibility to specialized public schools by students throughout the Commonwealth; and to review and recommend innovative ways to interest students at all education levels in science, math, and technology. More information regarding this subcommittee can be found at: http://dela.state.va.us/Dela/ComOpsStudy.nsf/f7d0d3fefc1bdfde85256c330057350
e/7c02887a88578eaa85257409005203dc?OpenDocument
.

 

SB 326 Requires the Board of Education to develop a plan for increasing the number of students receiving industry certification and state licensure as part of their career and technical education.

 

SB 640 Adds mental health education and awareness to the list of topics to be covered in family life education curriculum guidelines. The Board of Education will revise its guidelines.

 

Local School Boards and Divisions

 

HB 137

SB 356 Makes several changes to the textbook procedures by defining textbooks, reorganizing the textbook purchasing process and repealing several sections of outdated code sections. A separate Superintendent's Memorandum will be issued to explain the requirements of these two bills and HB 354 noted below.

 

HB 214 Adds public entities, including schools, to the list of public places in which persons with disabilities are entitled to the same full and free rights as other persons.

 

HB 259 Requires that when a student transfers from a local school division, that local school division shall obtain written or electronic documentation of the student's transfer before making any status classification in an information management system prescribed by the Board of Education.

HB 354 Identical to HB 137 and SB 356 noted above with one additional provision. This provision provides that with the approval of the local school board and the publisher, any private school within the school division that so requests may purchase from the local school board's textbook contract with the publisher under certain specified conditions. A separate Superintendent's Memorandum will be issued to explain the requirements of this bill along with HB 137 and SB and HB 356 noted above.

 

HB 453 Permits local school boards to install signs or other devices to indicate school bus stops. Maintenance, repair, and replacement of these school bus stop signs is the responsibility of the local school board.

 

HB 633

SB 133 Prohibits the dissemination of another person's social security number, regardless of whether such number is obtained from a public or private record.

 

HB 634

SB 132 Prohibits any agency from requiring an individual to furnish or disclose his social security number or driver's license number unless the furnishing or disclosure of such number is (i) expressly authorized by state or federal law and (ii) essential for the performance of that agency's duties.

 

HB 760

SB 620 Replaces the term mentally retarded with the term intellectually disabled in the Code of Virginia. The provisions of this legislation do not become effective unless the bill is also passed by the 2009 General Assembly.

 

HB 771 Permits any joint, regional, or regional charter school in operation prior to July 1, 2008, to request a waiver from any new regulation promulgated after that date. Also permits any joint or regional school to set the school calendar so that the first day students are required to attend school comports with the calendar of any of the participating school divisions, including those granted a waiver to start before Labor Day. The bill contains an emergency clause that made it effective upon passage, which was February 29, 2008.

HB 936

SB 559 Increases the maximum number of students allowed for a school division to qualify to have its state share of aid adjusted, based on a cost-sharing agreement with a neighboring school division. In addition, only those school divisions located in a locality with a composite index of .6000 or greater that has at least 65 percent of its local taxes coming from real estate taxes would qualify. The bill provides that no additional supplemental basic aid payments shall be made prior to July 1, 2010.

 

HB 1135 Provides that students may express their beliefs about religion in homework, artwork, and other written and oral assignments free from discrimination based on the religious content of their submissions.

 

HB 1160 Clarifies that persons under the age of 18 are not permitted to drive school buses.

 

HB 1526

SB 756 Creates the Virginia Career Readiness Certificate Program to certify the workplace and college readiness skills of Virginians, in order to better prepare them for continued education and workforce training, successful employment, and career advancement. The Virginia Workforce Council, in consultation with the Secretary of Education, shall promulgate regulations necessary to implement and administer the Program.

 

SB 44 Permits local school boards to establish after school programs designed to prevent at-risk youth from engaging in illegal or gang-related activities for school aged children. Local funds appropriated for K through 12 education may be used to support such programs.

No Child Left Behind

 

HB 1425

SB 490 Requires the Board of Education to make a recommendation to the General Assembly whether Virginia should withdraw from the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) unless reauthorization of NCLB makes revisions that allow Virginia's existing educational accountability system, as set forth in the Standards of Quality, Standards of Learning, and Standards of Accreditation, to substantially meet the accountability requirements of the federal law. If the Board of Education recommends withdrawal, then it must develop a plan for withdrawal by June 30, 2009.

 

Standards of Quality

 

HB 97 Amends Standard 4 of the Standards of Quality by clarifying those students who meet the requirements for both the Advanced Studies Diploma and the Advanced Technical Diploma may choose which diploma they wish to receive.

 

HB 242 Amends Standard 1 of the Standards of Quality by requiring local school boards to implement a program of physical fitness available to all students with a goal of at least 150 minutes per week on average during the regular school year. Each local school board is required to incorporate into its local wellness policy a goal for the implementation of such program during the regular school year.

 

A separate Superintendent's Memorandum will be issued to explain the requirements of this bill.

Teachers and Teacher Licensure

 

HB 506

SB 169 Expands the teacher scholarship loan program to award scholarships to students in approved teacher education programs leading to an endorsement in career and technical education.

 

HB 768 Adds a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemption for investigator notes, and other correspondence and information with respect to an active investigation conducted by or for the Board of Education related to the denial, suspension, or revocation of teacher licenses. Also allows the Board of Education to discuss or consider records relating to the denial, suspension, or revocation of teacher licenses in a closed meeting.

 

HB 809 Permits the Board of Education to extend a three-year provisional license an additional year for each school year or portion thereof for which a teacher is activated or deployed for military service. The bill also permits local school divisions to offer a similar extension to teachers who hold three-year local eligibility licenses to teachers who are activated or deployed. The bill contains an emergency clause that made it effective upon passage, which was February 29, 2008.

 

HB 1242 Prohibits the employment of anyone whose job would require direct contact with students if the applicant is the subject of a founded case of physical or sexual abuse of a child. Additionally, requires the dismissal of a teacher who while employed by a local school board becomes the subject of a founded case of physical or sexual abuse of a child and has exhausted all available appeals. A separate Superintendent's Memorandum will be issued detailing the provisions of this bill.

HB 1439

SB 241 Require court clerks to notify the Superintendent of Public Instruction when a person licensed by the Board of Education is convicted of a felony drug crime or a felony sex crime involving a child victim. The bills also require specific actions by local school boards, the Board of Education, and the local departments of social services when a licensed employee of a school board is dismissed or resigns due to a criminal conviction or founded child abuse or neglect charge. A separate Superintendent's Memorandum will be issued detailing the provisions of these bills.

 

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 or have questions about these bills.

 

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