Superintendent's Memo #104-10

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

April 30, 2010

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Final Legislative Report for the 2010 General Assembly

This memorandum provides information regarding legislation passed by the 2010 session of the Virginia General Assembly that is of interest to school superintendents and division personnel.

The final legislative tracking reports for the 2010 Virginia General Assembly are posted on the Virginia Department of Education’s website at: 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, 2010, 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 these bill summaries.

Governor’s Education Bills

HB 1388
SB 738
Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop, and the Board of Education to approve, criteria for approving and monitoring multi-division providers of online courses and virtual school programs. Also allows local school boards to enter into contracts with approved private or nonprofit organizations to provide such courses and programs; such contracts are exempt from the Virginia Public Procurement Act. Any multi-division online provider operating prior to the adoption of approval criteria by the Board may continue operating until such criteria are adopted.
HB 1389
SB 736
Allows for the establishment of college partnership laboratory schools by any public institution of higher education that operates a Board of Education approved teacher education program. Such schools shall be public schools established by a contract between the governing board of the school and the Board of Education. Teachers working in such schools shall be employees of the institution of higher education and shall either be licensed by the Board or eligible for such license.
HB 1390
SB 737
Requires a public charter school applicant to submit its proposed charter application to the Board of Education for review, comment, and for a determination as to whether the application meets approval criteria developed by the Board, prior to submission to the local school board. Provides an opportunity for a public charter school applicant to petition for reconsideration of a decision by a local school board to deny an application. Prior to such petition for reconsideration, an applicant may seek technical assistance from the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Administrative Issues

HB 107 Requires notification to the superintendents of school divisions when students who are 18 years of age or older are charged with certain crimes and are subject to the jurisdiction of the juvenile and domestic relations district court.
HB 208 Eliminates several outdated or duplicative reports to the General Assembly, including reports on acceptable Internet use, remedial programs, and regional alternative programs, and combines the charter school report with the Board of Education’s annual report.
HB 211 Includes the records of an applicant for admission to a school in the definition of scholastic records.
HB 491 Clarifies that the authorization for a school division to charge student fees for instructional materials does not permit a local school board to charge fees for materials that are not directly used by the student.
HB 557
SB 253
Permits school divisions to self-certify that they meet one of the “good cause” provisions of the Code of Virginia to enable the school division to open prior to Labor Day.
HB 669
SB 413
Eliminates the triennial census of all school age persons residing within each school division, currently used as the basis for distributing sales tax revenues dedicated to public education. Replaces the triennial census with a distribution based on an annual estimate of the school age population done by the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service beginning on July 1, 2012.
HB 907 Provides that for any report from local law enforcement authorities to the principal or his designee and the division superintendent regarding certain offenses committed by a juvenile student that would be an adult misdemeanor, local law enforcement authorities and attorneys for the Commonwealth shall also be authorized to disclose information regarding the terms of release from detention, court dates, and terms of any disposition orders to the superintendent of the school division.
SB 196 Clarifies that, in addition to the attendance officer, school personnel, and volunteers, the school principal or his designee, is responsible for notifying parents concerning students’ nonattendance at school.
SB 299 Requires the Department of Education to employ a military family education liaison to provide staff support for the Virginia Council on the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children and to assist military families and the state in facilitating the implementation of the Interstate Compact.

Health and School Safety

HB 227 Provides that a sex offender who has received a court order allowing entry on school or child day center property must also obtain permission of the school board or of the owner of the private school or child day center for entry within all or part of the scope of the lifted ban and must do so in compliance with the terms and conditions of both the school or center and the court order.
HB 270 Requires the Department of Health to include in its vaccination plans procedures to ensure the prompt vaccination of all persons of school age in the Commonwealth, without preference regarding the manner of compliance with the compulsory school attendance law, upon declaration of an emergency involving a vaccine-preventable disease and consent of the parent of the person of school age, or the person of school age if such person is not a minor.
HB 1353 Provides that any person who possesses or consumes an alcoholic beverage while operating a school bus transporting children is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
HB 1376 Requires the Board of Nursing to revise the guidelines for seizure management and requires that the guidelines be posted on the Department of Education’s website. Requires the Board of Education to develop a standardized form to be used for authorizing the administration of such medications in the public schools and requires the form to be posted on the Department of Education’s website.
SB 197 Clarifies that each local school division, rather than each individual school, is required to maintain records of any pesticide application on school grounds.
SB 652 Requires each local school division to develop policies and procedures regarding the identification and handling of suspected concussions in student-athletes. Requires the Board of Education to develop and distribute to local school divisions guidelines for policies dealing with concussions in student-athletes, including the nature and risk of concussions; criteria for return to play; and risks of not reporting the injury and continuing to play.


HB 709 Requires publishers of textbooks approved by the Board of Education for grades 6-12 to allow for the purchase of either printed or electronic textbooks.
HB 1217 Requires the Board of Education to establish curriculum guidelines for a standardized program of firearm safety education for the elementary school grades. Requires local school boards electing to provide firearm safety education in the elementary grades to offer instruction pursuant to the Board’s curriculum guidelines.
SB 209 Requires the governing boards of each public institution of higher education to implement policies regarding the granting of credit for International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement courses.
SB 241 Establishes the Open Education Curriculum Board. The purpose of the Board is to designate qualifying entities as Open Education Consortiums and set the standards for submission of education materials and subsequent licensing of educational curriculum developed by the Consortiums.
SB 269 Requires the Board of Education to include fuel-efficient driving practices as part of the driver education curriculum.
SB 354 Permits local school divisions to administer a locally developed or selected English proficiency assessment pursuant to the No Child Left Behind Act, so long as such assessment has been approved by the Board of Education.

Local School Boards and Divisions

HB 1245 Allows elected school boards to donate obsolete educational technology hardware and software and other obsolete personal property to a Virginia nonprofit organization which is exempt from taxation under § 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
SB 361 Requires local school boards to develop policies ensuring that any student's absence because of the observance of a religious holiday be recorded as excused on the student's attendance record and that a student not be deprived of any award or eligibility or opportunity to compete for any award or of the right to take an alternate test or examination, for any missed because of such absence.
SB 414 Requires the Board of Education to promulgate regulations setting nutritional guidelines for all competitive foods sold to students during regular school hours. Requires local school boards to report their plans to implement the final regulations to the Department of Education.

Special Education

SB 46 Authorizes the court to award reasonable attorney fees and costs to the prevailing party in a due process case.
SB 333 Allows children from birth through age 21 to be eligible for the services of the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind. Currently, children from ages 2 to 21 are eligible.

Standards of Accreditation

HB 111
HB 196
SB 352

Delays until July 1, 2011, the implementation of the regulations for the accreditation of schools that were not already in effect on June 30, 2008, with the exception of the Graduation and Completion Index.

HB 257 Requires the Board of Education to review the Standards of Accreditation to determine if homebound instruction may be made available to students based on the certification of anyone licensed to diagnose and treat mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders by a health regulatory board.

Standards of Quality

HB 304 Amends Standard 3 of the Standards of Quality to require an annual justification to the Board, as part of the Individualized Education Program, for every student who takes the Virginia Grade Level Alternative (VGLA) assessment instrument in grades three through eight. Requires the justification to include evidence that the student meets participation criteria defined by the Department of Education. (Please see for additional information on the VGLA participation criteria for the 2010-2011 school year.)
HB 394
SB 629
Amends Standard 4 of the Standards of Quality to require the two sequential electives, which provide a foundation for further education or training or preparation for employment, to be identified in the Academic and Career Plan as described in the Standards of Accreditation.
HB 566
SB 630
Amends Standard 4 of the Standards of Quality to require each local school board to include in its annual report to the Board of Education the number of Virginia’s Workplace Readiness Skills assessments and the number of national occupational competency assessments passed.
HB 1172
SB 145
Adds Standard 9 to the Standards of Quality. Codifies a current recognition program for schools and local school divisions (the Virginia Index of Performance), that recognizes and rewards fully accredited schools and school divisions making significant progress toward achieving advance proficiency levels in reading, mathematics, science, and history and social science and on other indicators of school and student performance. Requires the Board of Education to include in its guidelines for the program performance objectives and measures that promote student achievement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
HB 1199 Amends Standard 4 of the Standards of Quality to require the Board of Education to provide for the waiver of graduation requirements to be granted only for good cause and to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Teachers and Teacher Licensure

HB 623 Allows local school boards to employ substitutes, with the approval of the Superintendent of Public Instruction on a case-by-case basis, for periods longer than 90 teaching days in a school year. Requires the Board of Education to develop guidelines pertaining to the employment of substitutes for longer than 90 teaching days during one school year.
SB 715 Requires the Board of Education to promulgate regulations to require (i) all teacher education preparation programs in early/primary preK-3, elementary education preK-6, middle education 6-8, and history and social sciences to include local government and civics instruction specific to Virginia and (ii) any individual seeking renewal of a license 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 in 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 in Virginia. (This requirement must be met one time for the individual’s next renewal cycle after July 1, 2012.)

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, if you need additional information or have questions about these bills.