Superintendent's Memo #134-09
COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education
May 15, 2009
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Final Legislative Report for the 2009 General Assembly
This memorandum provides information regarding legislation passed by the 2009 session of the Virginia General Assembly that is of interest to school superintendents and division personnel.
The final legislative reports for the 2009 General Assembly are posted on the Department of Education’s website at: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/boe/legislation/index.shtml. 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. In doing so, you will be exiting the Virginia Department of Education website and going to the Virginia General Assembly's Legislative Information System.
All legislation becomes effective on July 1, 2009, 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.
- HB 1679
Directs the Department of Social Services to maintain a database of central child abuse and neglect registries in other states that provide access to out-of-state school boards for local school boards to use when taking reasonable steps to determine whether an applicant, who has resided in another state within the last five years, was the subject of a founded case of child abuse and neglect in the relevant state. This bill has an emergency clause making it effective upon passage.
- HB 1727
Authorizes Virginia to join the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children to remove barriers to educational success imposed on children of military families because of frequent moves and deployment of their parents and creates the Virginia Council on the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.
- SB 1285
Requires local governing bodies and local school divisions to include the estimated required local match in the publication of the annual school budget. Local governing bodies and school divisions must, by law, publish the annual school budget for public inspection and comment.
Health and School Safety
- HB 1624
Requires the Board of Education to include the use of electronic means for the purpose of bullying, harassment and intimidation in its guidelines and model policies for codes of student conduct standards for school board policies.
- HB 1794
Provides that the sufficient cause necessary to suspend a student cannot rest solely on instances of truancy.
- HB 1826
Provides for the suspension of the driver's license of any minor who has 10 or more unexcused absences from public school on consecutive school days.
- HB 1836
Directs the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to make information available to school boards on integrated pest management programs that address the application of chemical pesticides and other pest control measures on school property. The Virginia Cooperative Extension, in cooperation with the Pesticide Control Board, will develop guidelines for integrated pest management no later than July 1, 2010.
- HB 2341
Provides that a school board may adopt regulations authorizing a principal to impose a short-term suspension, when a student has been charged with an offense involving intentional injury to another student in the same school, pending a decision as to whether to require the offending student to attend an alternative education program. It also provides that a school board may require a student charged with certain juvenile offenses to attend an alternative education program.
- HB 2513
Adds "act of violence by a mob pursuant to § 18.2-42.1" to the list of offenses that shall be reported by a juvenile intake officer to a school division superintendent when a petition is filed alleging a student committed such an offense.
- SB 1218
Allows the director of the Department of Juvenile Justice to notify the appropriate school division superintendent when a juvenile who poses a credible danger of serious bodily injury or death to students, school personnel or others on school property is released from a juvenile correctional center.
- HB 1746
Adds the value, benefits, challenges, and responsibilities of marriage for men, women, children, and communities to the list of topics to be covered in family life education curricula.
- HB 1782
Requires that the Board of Education’s established standardized program of driver education in Planning District 8 include the following instruction for any student completing the program beginning in academic year 2010-2011: an additional minimum 90-minute parent/student driver education component included as part of the in-classroom portion of the driver education curriculum. The parent/student component will require the participation of the student's parent or guardian and will emphasize parental responsibilities regarding juvenile driver behavior, juvenile driving restrictions pursuant to the Code of Virginia, and the dangers of driving while intoxicated and underage consumption of alcohol.
- HB 1980
Requires school divisions to distribute a summary to parents and guardians to assist them in understanding the family life education program implemented in the school division and include a statement that: (i) parents and guardians have the right to review all written and audiovisual educational materials used in the program, and (ii) parents and guardians have the right to remove the child from all or part of family life education instruction. Current law requires only that this information be made available.
- HB 2409
Requires the state superintendent of public instruction to select and distribute a teacher's manual that emphasizes the causes and ramifications of the Holocaust and genocide to all school divisions. Local school divisions are required to provide grade-appropriate portions of the manual to history and literature teachers of these classes.
- HB 2589
Requires local school divisions to administer a limited English proficiency assessment mandated for students pursuant to the federal No Child Left Behind Act for the 2009-2010 school year that is locally developed or selected and has been approved by the Board of Education in accordance with federal requirements.
- HJ 651
Requests that local school divisions consider launching a Project Lead the Way program in the division's high schools.
Local School Boards and Divisions
- HB 1844
Allows certain amendments to the charter school statutes to sunset as provided in Chapter 530 of the Acts of Assembly of 2004 and retains others.
- HB 1923
Permits local school boards to assess a reasonable fee or charge for damages to or loss of school textbooks when such textbooks have been provided to students without charge.
- HB 1940
Requires the State Board for Community Colleges, in consultation with the Virginia Department of Education and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, to develop a competitive grant pilot program to provide grants to community colleges to establish open education resource centers in the commonwealth.
- HB 1942
Clarifies the manner in which school boards may establish a single-sex class or school in a school division. Participation must be voluntary and the school division must provide a substantially equal coeducational school or class.
- HB 1945
Provides that based on available space a student may be administratively assigned to a regional alternative education program either at the request of the parent and with the consent of the division superintendent or by the division superintendent after written notice to the student and his parent providing the student and/or his parent to participate in a hearing conducted by the division superintendent or his designee regarding such placement.
- HB 2070
Requires local school boards to develop and implement policies to allow a parent of twins or higher order multiples to request that the children be placed in the same classroom or separate classrooms if they are in the same grade level at the same elementary school.
- HB 2089
Provides additional direction to school boards in establishing and administering a grievance procedure to resolve disputes arising between the school board and certain employees, and that except in the case of dismissal, suspension, or other disciplinary action, the grievance procedure prescribed by the Board of Education shall apply to all full-time employees of a school board, except supervisory employees.
- HB 2132
Provides that localities, in cooperation with the school board, may pursue housing assistance for employees.
- HB 2166
Provides for the delayed implementation of statutes and regulations, upon which the accreditation of schools or school divisions in the commonwealth is based that are not already in effect on June 30, 2008, until July 1, 2010, unless such statutes or regulations are also specifically required by federal code, federal regulation, or court action.
- HB 2269
Requires the annual report of expenditures provided by the school board to the appropriate governing body to also be made available to the public on the official school division website, if any, or in hard copy at the central school division office, on a template prescribed by the Board of Education.
- HB 2406
Expands the types of school records that may be admissible in cases involving custody of the student or termination of parental rights to all school records provided that they are authenticated as true and accurate copies by the custodian of the records or by the person to whom the custodian reports, if they are different.
- HB 2426
Extends from July 1, 2009, to July 1, 2010, the implementation of the prohibition against collecting an individual's social security number unless collection of such number is (i) authorized or required by state or federal law and (ii) essential for the performance of that agency's duties.
- SB 919
Extends the July 1, 2010, sunset date to July 1, 2015, for provisions allowing retirees to be hired as teachers or administrative personnel without interruption of their retirement benefits.
- HB 2304
Provides that any party aggrieved by the findings and decision made in a special education due process hearing may, within 180 days of such findings and decision, appeal to the circuit court for the jurisdiction in which the school division is located.
- HB 2537
Defines "parent" for the purposes of Article 2, Chapter 13 of Title 22.1, and regulations promulgated thereto.
Standards of Quality
- HB 2112
Amends Standard 1 of the Standards of Quality by requiring local school boards to implement educational objectives in middle and high school that emphasize economic education and financial literacy.
- HB 2517
Amends Standard 3 of the Standards of Quality by directing the Board of Education in prescribing Standards of Learning assessments to also provide the option of industry certification and state licensure examinations as a student-selected verified credit. Additionally, to assess the educational progress of students, the Board of Education is required to select appropriate industry certification and state licensure examinations.
- HB 2619
Amends Standard 4 of the Standards of Quality by providing that course credits earned for online courses taken in the Department of Education's Virtual Virginia program will transfer to Virginia public schools in accordance with provisions of the Board of Education’s Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia.
- HJ 652
Requests the school divisions of the commonwealth to consider using existing intervention, remediation, and at-risk funding to hire K-8 mathematics specialists as an effective means to improve the performance of low-achieving students.
Teachers and Teacher Licensure
- HB 2224
Requires the Advisory Board on Teacher Education and Licensure, in consultation with the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired, to make recommendations to the Board of Education and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Education and Health regarding the certification of Braille instructors by December 31, 2009.
- HB 2474
Requires local school boards to ensure that all elementary school teachers are provided at least an average of 30 minutes per day during the students’ school week as planning time.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you need additional information or have questions about these bills.
PIW / MJP / jcj