Superintendent’s Memo #138-12

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

May 25, 2012

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Final Legislative Report for the 2012 General Assembly

This memorandum provides information regarding legislation passed by the 2012 session of the Virginia General Assembly that is of interest to school superintendents and division personnel.

The legislative tracking reports for the 2012 General Assembly are posted on the Department of Education’s Web site at:  http://www.doe.virginia.gov/boe/legislation/.  These reports reflect final actions on education-related legislation.  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 Legislative Tracking Reports.

Required Actions

All legislation becomes effective on July 1, 2012, 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.  For some legislation, a separate Superintendent’s Memorandum will be distributed in order to provide more detailed information as needed.

Administrative Issues

HB 135
SB 396

Increases the number of local government representatives serving on the State Executive Council for Comprehensive Services for At-Risk Youth and Families, from three to five.

HB 250

Requires the Department of Education to include in the Annual School Performance Report Card the percentage of each school division’s annual operating budget allocated to instructional costs.  For this purpose, the Department of Education shall establish a methodology for allocating each school division’s expenditures to instructional and non-instructional costs in a manner that is consistent with the funding of the Standards of Quality.  Further, the Department may also report on other methods of measuring instructional spending such as those used by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Education.

HB 321
SB 131

Establishes a tax credit program related to education improvement scholarships.  Such scholarships will be awarded by eligible scholarship foundations to eligible students with disabilities and to students who are economically disadvantaged so that these students are able to attend a nonpublic school.  The Department of Education would administer this program.  The bills also expand the current Neighborhood Assistance Act Tax Credit program, administered by the Department.

HB 367

Requires the Department of Education to publish annually their disciplinary offenses and the outcome data by race, ethnicity, gender, and disability for each public school in the Commonwealth on its Web site.  The data shall be published in a manner that protects the identities of individual students.
HB 1291 Reorganizes the executive branch of state government.  In regard to education, this bill eliminates the Virginia Public Broadcasting Board and transfers its duties to the Board of Education.
Charter Schools

HB 756

Permits the Department of Education to establish a team of experts with experience in the establishment and operation of charter schools, college partnership laboratory schools and virtual school programs, or retain the services of individuals with such expertise and experience to provide technical assistance and advice to the Board in carrying out its duties relating to charter schools, college partnership laboratory schools, and virtual school programs.

HB 1173
SB 440

Makes a number of changes to existing charter school laws.  The bills provide that:  1) per pupil funding provided to the charter school would be negotiated in the charter agreement and must be commensurate with the average school-based costs of educating the students in the existing schools in the school division unless the cost of operating the charter school is less; 2) local school boards allow public charter schools to use vacant or unused property or real estate; 3) all purchases made by a public charter school would be exempt from the Virginia Public Procurement Act unless otherwise negotiated by contract; 4) a local school board shall no longer have the discretion to revoke a charter if it finds the school is no longer in the public interest or for the welfare of the students; 5) local school boards may permit charter school staff to be employees of the charter school; and 6) local school boards that deny a public charter school application or revoke or fail to renew a charter agreement submit documentation to the Board of Education as to the rationale for such action.

College Partnership Laboratory Schools

HB 765
SB 475

Allows private institutions of higher education that have a teacher education program approved by the Board of Education to operate a college partnership laboratory school.  The bills permit a collaborative partnership between the institution of higher education with a college partnership laboratory school and the public school division, which will be considered an educational program of the public school division for purposes of the Standards of Accreditation.
Health and School Safety

HB 504
SB 271

Requires the Virginia Center for School Safety to provide training on anti-bullying tactics to public school personnel.

HB 1089

Allows a 180-day conditional enrollment period for students who need more than two doses of the required hepatitis B vaccine to allow for proper spacing of the vaccine doses.

HB 1107
SB 656

Requires local school boards to adopt and implement policies for the possession and administration of epinephrine in every school.  The Department of Health, in conjunction with the Department of Education and Department of Health Professions, must develop guidelines for school divisions to use in the development of their policies for the recognition and treatment of anaphylaxis in the school setting by the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year.  The Superintendent of Public Instruction is required to disseminate such guidelines no later than July 1, 2012.
HB 1188
SB 259
Requires the Board of Education, in collaboration with the Department of Social Services, to provide awareness and training materials for local school division staff on human trafficking, including strategies for the prevention of trafficking of children.

Home Instruction

HB 1208
SB 564
Requires that the description of the curriculum, which a parent electing to provide home instruction to his child in lieu of school attendance must submit to the school division superintendent, shall be limited to a list of subjects to be studied during the coming year.

Instruction

HB 1092

Requires the Board of Education to develop physical education program guidelines for public elementary and middle schools.  In developing these guidelines, the Board shall work with the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Virginia Association of School Superintendents, the Virginia School Boards Association, and other interested stakeholders.  The Board shall develop guidelines prior to January 1, 2014.

HB 1108

Delays the requirement that, where there is a national industry certification for career and technical education instruction personnel and programs for automotive technology, such certification is a mandatory part of the career and technical education program offered by the school divisions.  This requirement would not be effective until July 1, 2013.
HB 1179 Permits a local school board to provide its character education program during the summer in a youth development academy offered by the school division.  The Department of Education will develop guidelines for school divisions to use in establishing a character education program through a summer youth development academy.

Local School Boards and Divisions

HB 93

Increases the minimum amount of vehicle liability insurance required to be carried by public schools in the instances of property damage, medical expense payment coverage, and accidents when all persons are injured. The bill requires taxicabs under contract with a school division to provide transportation to students and to have a certain minimum amount of vehicle liability insurance.

HB 424

Makes copies of school records that are material and otherwise admissible provided that such copies are authenticated as true and accurate by the custodian of the records.

HB 603

Permits local school divisions to establish and implement policies that provide for the open enrollment at any school of any student residing within the school division upon the request of the parent or guardian.

HB 640
SB 190

Clarifies language in § 22.1-3 of the Code of Virginia regarding the enrollment of students, pursuant to a special power of attorney, to reference the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, which addresses the enrollment of a student when the  parents are service members deployed within or outside of the United States.

HB 1189

Permits local school boards to develop a single, standardized form to obtain parental consent for the release of student data, to be used by Community Policy and Management Teams and the Departments of Health, Social Services, Correctional Education, Juvenile Justice, and Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

HB 1295
SB 679

Eliminates the requirement that local school divisions have a School Health Advisory Committee and a Gifted Education Advisory Committee.  The bills eliminate a § 1 bill passed by the 2010 General Assembly requiring teachers seeking renewal of their licenses with an endorsement in early/primary preK-3, elementary education preK-6, middle education 6-8, history and social sciences, history, or political science to complete study of the structures, function, and powers of state and local government of Virginia and the importance of citizen participation in the political process in state and local government of Virginia.
SB 204 Clarifies that the agreement as to where a child placed in foster care will attend school does not need to be made before placing the child in foster care.

Special Education

HB 325

Requires each local school board, by September 1, 2014, to ensure that aides assigned to work with a teacher who has primary oversight of students with autism spectrum disorders receive training in student behavior management within 60 days of assignment to such responsibility.  School boards may provide training to other employees.  The Board of Education shall provide training standards for school division’s use.  Also, the Board, in consultation with Virginia Commonwealth University, shall develop online training that may be used to fulfill these requirements.  Such training shall be made available free of charge.
HB 382 Provides that a school division may transfer assistive technology devices purchased by the division for a student with a disability to the student, the parents, or a state agency that provides services to the student upon the student’s graduation, or aging out of the school division’s special education program.  The bill provides that the Department of Education issue guidelines for the transfer of assistive technology devices no later than July 1, 2013.

Standards of Accreditation

HB 96

This bill delays implementation of the Academic and Career Plan addressed in the Board’s Regulations Establishing the Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia until July 1, 2013. As passed by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor, the bill does not delay the increases in testing benchmarks for accreditation.  Beginning with ratings awarded in the 2013-2014 school year (based on test scores from the 2012-2013 school year), the test score benchmarks needed for full accreditation increase from 50 percent to 70 percent in grade three history and science.  The test score benchmarks for English in grades six through 12 increase from 70 percent to 75 percent for full accreditation.

HB 642
SB 514

Requires the Board of Education to adopt regulations adjusting the formula for calculating the final high school accreditation status for schools that are fully accredited.  A minimum numerical value of three points will be added to the completion index total points calculation for each student obtaining both a diploma and a Board-approved industry certification, industry pathway certification, state licensure, or occupational competency credential in a career and technical education program. The additional points cannot be used to obtain or deny accreditation.
HB 1215 Requires the Board of Education to promulgate regulations establishing standards for the accreditation of virtual schools that enroll students full time.

Standards of Quality

HB 1061
SB 489

Amends Standard Four (§ 22.1-253.13:4 of the Code of Virginia) by consolidating the number of Board of Education-approved diplomas.  The bills address:  1) a career and technical education credential within the Standard Diploma; 2) a requirement for the completion of one virtual course to earn a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma; and 3) accommodations for students with disabilities to earn a Standard Diploma.  The bills eliminate the Modified Standard Diploma, Standard Technical Diploma, Advanced Technical Diploma and General Achievement Diploma.  The General Achievement Adult High School Diploma would be created with additional requirements related to career and technical education.  The bills also amend § 22.1-254 of the Code of Virginia  by adding two new requirements, a career and technical education credential and completion of an economics and personal finance course, for students enrolled in an individual student alternative education program (ISAEP).

HB 1181

Requires local school divisions to provide reading intervention services to students in grade three who demonstrate deficiencies on their individual performance on the Standards of Learning reading test or any reading diagnostic test that meets criteria established by the Department of Education.  The local school division, in its discretion, shall provide such reading intervention services prior to promoting a student from grade three to grade four.  Reading intervention services may include the use of:  1) special reading teachers; 2) trained aides; 3) volunteer tutors; 4) computer-based reading tutorial programs; 5) aides to instruct in-class groups; and 6) extended instructional time.

HB 1184

Amends Standards One (§ 22.1-253.13:1 of the Code of Virginia) by requiring local school boards and community colleges to develop agreements allowing high school students to complete an associate’s degree or a one-year Uniform Certificate of General Studies from a community college concurrent with a high school diploma.  The bill provides that students and their parents shall be notified of such agreements. The bill also amends Standard Nine (§ 22.1-253.13:9 of the Code of Virginia) by requiring the Department of Education, in its guidelines for calculating an award under the Virginia Index of Performance incentive program, to take into account the number of high school students who earn the one-year Uniform Certificate of General Studies or an associate’s degree from a community college concurrent with a high school diploma.
Additional information regarding amendments to the Standards of Quality will be provided in a separate Superintendent’s Memorandum.

Teachers and Administrators

HB 74
SB 239

Reduces the time limit for reporting suspected child abuse or neglect from 72 to 24 hours.

HB 76
SB 278

Changes the date of effective contract renewal for those teachers without continuing contract status from April 15 to June 15.

HB 577

Requires teachers of online courses and in college partnership laboratory schools to, as a condition of employment requiring direct contact with students, provide written consent and the necessary personal information for a search of the registry of founded complaints of child abuse and neglect maintained by the Department of Social Services.
HB 578 Requires the Board of Education to prescribe by regulation the licensure requirements for teachers who teach only online courses.  Such license will be valid only for teaching online courses.  Teachers who hold a five-year renewable license issued by the Board of Education may teach online courses for which they are properly endorsed.

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) 225-2092, or by electronic mail at policy@doe.virginia.gov, if you need additional information or have questions about these bills.

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