2017 GENERAL ASSEMBLY SESSION “IN REVIEW”

*Updated: August 29th, 2017

 

Elizabeth “Bet” Neale Session Statistics
VASSP
Leader Lobbyist
Director of Government Relations
Bills Introduced:
Bills Passed:
2959
1773

 

 

 

 

WRAP-UP OF THE 2017 GENERAL ASSEMBLY SESSION

It really does not matter how long a General Assembly session lasts, the big issues are usually decided in the final few days; and the 2017 Session was no exception.  For example, the fate of school “discipline bills,” which consumed lots of news print, countless hours of testimony and investigation, and time spent contacting legislators, came down to last minute “shenanigans” by the bills’ supporters.  The bills met an ignominious end, including the long-term suspension bill that was strongly opposed by VASSP and all other education associations.  In the end, the Senate patron, rather than having his suspension bills killed on the Floor, asked that they be re-referred to the Senate Education and Health Committee, which had already had its last meeting.  Throughout most of the Session, the patrons of the three major school discipline bills proceeded as if the bills were a “done deal,” with the House patron refusing most attempts at compromise and the Senate patron drawing the line after accepting some of the amendments proposed by VSBA.  Enter reality – and push back by all education associations and a bi-partisan group of delegates and senators.  VASSP members were put on alert, made countless phone calls and were all busy in the halls of the GA to put a stop to attempts to diminish administrative authority to maintain safe and secure schools.  Up until the last Floor fight just three days before the session ended, many believed, at the least, that some form of long-term suspension (and restrictions on suspension in grades K-3) would pass; but when it looked like we might not have the votes to thwart this action, we doubled down.  SUCCESS!  VASSP contacts with local legislators were key to this successful outcome.

The budget, by design, always comes down to the last week; and, somehow, the $1B plus shortfall hole in the budget was “plugged,” in part by decreasing the amount promised in 2016 for school division salary supplements.  The House and Senate quickly came to compromise.  There will be a state salary supplement for all SOQ personnel (including principals); however, the funding (which requires local match) does not kick in until February 2018, representing a partial year increase.  Other major funding for K-12 (more of a “flexibility” move than a significant funding increase) provides a flexible fund for school divisions to use without requirement of a local match.  See below for Budget specifics re: salary supplement and K-12 flexibility fund.

How about those potentially damaging bills that passed?  Enter the Governor, whose Party does not have control of either the House or the Senate; but he does have a Veto pen.  It is disappointing that K-12 must rely on a Governor’s veto in many instances; but it is reality and, as long as both the House and Senate remain in the hands of another Party, public educators must depend on the Chief Executive to help us out.  As expected, Governor McAuliffe again vetoed the so-called “Tebow” bill to allow homeschoolers to participate in VHSL activities, as well as the “sexually explicit” bill, which would require that notification be made to parents if a reading assignment contains sexually explicit portions recounting acts defined in Code as felony/criminal assault. The Governor also vetoed the parent savings account bill, which would allow state funds to go to parents for expenses related to private, religious or homeschool education and legislation calling for creation of a State Virtual School (with state school board).

So, what were the other big K-12 issues that consumed so much of the 2017 Session?  There were several education bills related to key topics, including:

Notification

  • Time/place for AP/PSAT testing for homeschoolers;
  • Status of bullying investigations (within 5 school days);
  • Availability of Career readiness certificates;
  • Status of pupil/teacher ratios by schools;
  • Reporting to Superintendent of Public Instruction re: revocation of teacher license;
  • Availability of information from school service providers re: personal student information; and
  • Reports to principals from courts re: custody and visitation orders (within 3 days).

Review/Consideration by BOE and SCHEV

  • BOE: Review of multipart assessment questions and consider partial credit;
  • SCHEV: Consideration of Dual Enrollment, General education course credit for entering freshmen;
  • BOE: Consideration of inclusion in SOA: number of industry certification credentials; and
  • BOE: Consideration of guidelines for alternatives to suspension.

Student Health, Counseling and FLE

  • Vision Screenings (more comprehensive; advanced devices);
  • Administration of medications to treat adrenal crisis; permissive; liability protection
  • CPR/hands-on – required for initial licensure or renewal;
  • Dyslexia Advisor: one reading specialist (if employed) or psychologist to be designated; advisor may not be full-time administrator;
  • Insulin Pump assistance by registered nurse; permissive; liability protection;
  • FLE: law and meaning of consent; and instruction on personal privacy and boundaries;
  • School Counselors: additional requirements for licensure; and training on prevention of trafficking of children (also includes school nurses).

Reciprocity/Licensure

  • CTE teacher licensure: may waive initial licensure;
  • Reciprocity: may exempt from professional teacher’s assessment requirements.

Miscellaneous

  • Verified Credit: for satisfactory score on PSAT and Pre-ACT;
  • Driver Education: may provide 90-minute “behind the wheel” instruction; and instruction on proper conduct during traffic stops;
  • Board of Education: to include at least two members from business community;
  • Regional Charter School divisions: enrollment of 3.000 plus; must have been denied accreditation for 2 of last 3 years;
  • Economics and Financial Literacy: to include evaluation of the economic value of postsecondary degree.

Committee on the Future of Public Education: This legislative committee, created by legislation passed in 2016, is fast becoming “the” place where the future of high school redesign, SOL, SOQ and SOA issues, as well as K-12 funding issues, will be aired, reviewed and possibly decided, particularly as it concerns legislation.  The Innovation Committee will likely take a back seat to the “Futures” Committee.  The following bills were not passed during this session but were passed along to the Futures Committee:

  • Consideration of additional funding for instructional and support personnel in struggling schools;
  • Consideration of reductions in required SOL assessments;
  • Use of/access to Electronic Textbooks;
  • Consideration of establishing state School Health Advisory Board;
  • Virtual School, and
  • Graduation Requirements/Verified Credit; alternative assessment restrictions.

 2017 promises to continue to be a challenging, exciting and busy year for VASSP, and we will keep you up to date and in the loop on legislative action throughout 2017.  Stay tuned to our site for future updates, and remember to Stay in Tune and in Touch with your Local Legislators – they love photo ops!

 

ACTION ON PRIORITY EDUCATION BILLS 2017

Notes in italics

(PASSED = House/Senate; TABLED = failed in committee)

Click on bill number to read entire text

 

Bills Final action
HB 1392Lingamfelter – School security officers; carrying a firearm in performance of dutiesPermissive; retired no more than 10 yrs w/training and review; local PASSED

HB 1400Bell, Richard P.Virginia Virtual School Board; established, report.  State Virtual School/Board.

(Note: Gov’s alternative failed – local regional full-time virtual w local board control)

PASSED
HB 1408Ware – Student vision screenings; (shall provide comprehensive vision testing; certain devices/programs) PASSED
HB 1414Austin – Standards of Learning; DOE to review multipart assessment questions, partial credit, etc.  (DOE to review and consider) PASSED
HB 1437Head – Public school students; sight and hearing testing, exceptions.  Students with IEP; no additional testing if previously diagnosed PASSED
HB 1485Bell, Richard P.Sexual offenses; prohibits person from proximity to children and working on school property. PASSED
HB 1534Bell, Richard P. – Student discipline; long-term suspension. LEFT in Senate Ed and Health
HB 1536Bell, Richard P. – Student discipline; suspension or expulsion of students in K-3 LEFT in Senate Ed and Health
HB 1538LeMunyon – Revision and recodification of Title 23; corrections. Technical amendments PASSED
HB 1552BulovaCareer and technical education; notification to students and parents of programs available to obtain a nationally recognized career readiness certificate at a local public high school, comprehensive community college, or workforce center. PASSED
HB 1578Bell, Robert B. – Students who receive home instruction; participation in interscholastic programs (Tebow Bill). PASSED; VETOED by Governor;
HB 1586Campbell – Court-ordered custody and visitation arrangements; transmission of order to child’s school. Notify school within 3 business days PASSED
HB 1605LaRockParental Choice Education Savings Accounts established. (similar Senate bill failed) PASSED w/2018 reenactment clause
HB 1661Greason – Administration of medications to treat adrenal crisis. Permissive; protection from liability PASSED
HB 1662Greason – SCHEV to consider dual enrollment courses. (policy for granting undergraduate general education course credit to any entering freshman student who has successfully completed a dual enrollment course). PASSED
HB 1663Greason – Northern Va. Community College, et al.; computer science training, etc., for public school teachers. Contract to develop and implement PASSED
HB 1705Greason – Certification of driver education courses; requirements. (may provide 90-minute behind wheel component) PASSED
HB 1708Filler-Corn – Standards of Accreditation; industry certification credentials obtained by high school students. (BOE to consider in SOA the number of industry certification credentials) PASSED
HB 1709Filler-Corn – School boards; policies and procedures prohibiting bullying, parental notification. (notify all parties of status of bullying investigation within 5 school days) PASSED
HB 1770Freitas – Teacher licensure; career and technical education, certain local waivers. may waive certain requirements for any teacher seeking initial licensure or renewal in CTE PASSED
HB 1829Dudenhefer – Teacher licensure; certification or training in emergency first aid, CPR initial licensure or renewal as a teacher shall include hands-on practice of the skills necessary to perform CPR. That the provisions of this act shall become effective on September 1, 2017. As per Governor PASSED
HB 1888HugoWireless telecommunications devices; use by persons driving school buses. PASSED
HB 1924Bagby – Public schools; suspensions. (BOE to provide guidelines for alternatives to suspension) PASSED
HB 1981Greason – School Divisions of Innovation; definition, regulatory provisions. “reverse charter school” PASSED
HB 1982Greason – Graduation requirements; verified units of credit for satisfactory score on the PSAT examination. (add Pre-ACT) PASSED
HB 2007Bell, Robert B. – Students who receive home instruction; dual enrollment courses. (May enroll as part-time students for dual enrollment) FAILED
HB 2014Keam – Standards of quality; biennial review by Board of Education. PASSED
HB 2140LeMunyon – Teachers turnover; exit questionnaire. (Pilot program) PASSED
HB 2141LeMunyon – Public education; Board of Education to report on condition and needs. (to determine # of reports required and if necessary) PASSED
HB 2142LeMunyon – High school graduation; delays by one year implementation of redesigned requirements. (Note: Similar bill sent to Future of Public Ed Com) STRIKE – at request of patron
HB 2174Murphy – School boards; annual report on pupil/teacher ratios by schools (report by school – initial amendment asked for report to be “by classroom”) PASSED
HB 2191Landes – School boards; procedures for handling sexually explicit instructional materials, etc.    (Amended to refer to materials that include criminal sexual assault or any act defined and punishable as a felony under § 18.2-361) PASSED
HB 2218MiyaresPublic charter school applications and charter agreements; review by the Board of Education. PASSED
HB 2257Filler-Corn – High school family life education curricula; effective and evidence-based programs on law and meaning of consent. PASSED
HB 2282Leftwich§ 1. BOE to develop guidelines for training school counselors, school nurses, and other relevant school staff on the prevention of trafficking of children. PASSED
HB 2290Ward – Driver education programs; instruction concerning traffic stops. PASSED
HB 2332Tyler – Teachers; compensation at rate at or above national average salary.  (aspirational) PASSED
HB 2341LandesEducation, Board of; membership.  (to include at least 2 members from private business) PASSED
HB 2342Landes – Public establish regional charter school divisions. 3,000 plus enrollment; denied accreditation 2 out of past 3 yrs. PASSED
HB 2352Freitas – Teacher licensure by reciprocity; professional teacher’s assessments, report.  exempt from any professional teacher’s assessment requirements PASSED
HB 2355Pogge – Students receiving home instruction; participation in AP and PSAT/NMSQT.  (advise parents/take examinations) PASSED
HB 2395Cline – Public Schools; dyslexia advisor. Refers to reading specialist, if employed, as dyslexia advisor; or psychologist – amendment (advisor may not be full-time administrator) PASSED
HB 2406Filler-Corn – Family life education curricula; instruction shall include personal privacy and personal boundaries. FAILED
HB 2432Bulova – Teachers and other school personnel; investigation of certain complaints, license revocation.  (revocation to be forwarded to Supt of Public Instruction) PASSED
SB 783Ebbin – Public employment; prohibits discrimination on basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. FAILED
SB 829Wexton – Alternatives to suspension; Board of Education shall establish guidelines for local school boards. PASSED
SB 938EdwardsSmoking in outdoor public place; locality regulation. TABLED
SB 951Ruff – School service providers; student access to collected personal information. (machine readable format) PASSED
SB 995Stanley – Student discipline; long-term suspension.  (Primary vehicle for long-term suspension bill; some admin discretion; need to add assault/sexual assault) FAILED
SB 997Stanley – Public schools; student discipline. FAILED
SB 1017BarkerSchool attendance officer; powers and duties.  (may file petitions) TABLED
SB 1082WextonSchool principals; incident reports. Eliminates the requirement that school principals report certain misdemeanor offenses to law enforcement. FAILED
SB 1098Newman – Standards of Quality; standards for accreditation in public schools. Ensure transparency PASSED
SB 1099Newman – Standards of Quality; alternative assessments TABLED (sent to Future of Public Ed Com)
SB 1116McPike – Public school employees, certain; assistance with student insulin pumps by register nurse, etc. Permissive; protection from liability PASSED
SB 1117McPikeSchool counselors; licensure. Additional requirements; supported by counselors PASSED
SB 1159Reeves – Public schools; career and technical education credential. Certain armed services testing accepted PASSED
SB 1240DunnavantVirginia Virtual School established. PASSED
SB 1243DunnavantVa. Parental Choice Education Savings Accounts; established, definitions, report, effective clause. FAILED
SB 1245Dunnavant – Public education; economics education and financial literacy. (Include evaluating the economic value of a postsecondary degree) PASSED
SB 1283Obenshain – Public schools; Board of Education shall only establish regional charter school divisions. PASSED (HB2342)
SB 1356Locke – Informal truancy plans; students with multiple discretionary diversions. Extends time frame FAILED
SB 1414Newman – Students receiving home instruction; participation in AP and PSAT/NMSQT. (make exams available to homeschoolers)  PASSED
SB 1475McClellan; Family life education; evidence-based programs on sexual violence and requirement of consent before sexual activity. PASSED
SB 1493McClellan – Virginia Community College System; computer science training available for teachers. PASSED
SB 1516Black – Public Schools; dyslexia advisor. (one reading specialist or school psychologist, if employed, to be trained and serve as advisors) PASSED
SB 1517Black – School transportation; fees. FAILED
SB 1523Mason – Teachers turnover; exit questionnaire. (BOE pilot program) PASSED
SB 1534Sturtevant – general education course credit, dual enrollment courses. (SCHEV to establish policy) PASSED
SB 1583Suetterlein – Teacher licensure; career and technical education, certain local waivers. (may waive initial licensure; CTE) PASSED

BUDGET

See below for language in final budget related to K-12 salary increases – applicable to funded SOQ instructional and support positions, including principals and assistant principals.  The $32M price tag is lower than Senate proposal due effective date of Feb 2018 (partial year).  If a school division has already provided increases at or above 2%, they will have satisfied the provisions in the budget and will receive the state share. 

STATE SALARY SUPPLEMENT 

Item 139 #4c

Item 139 #4c First Year – FY2017 Second Year – FY2018
Education
Direct Aid to Public Education FY2017  $0 FY2018  $31,981,550 GF

 

Language
“Out of the appropriation included in paragraph 40 of this item, $135,366 the second year from the general fund is included in the Academic Year Governor’s School funding allocation to increase the per pupil amount the second year as an add-on for a compensation supplement payment equal to 2.0 percent of base pay on February 15, 2018, for Academic Year Governor’s School instructional and support positions.”

Page 160, after line 42 insert:

“40. Compensation Supplement

a.1) The appropriation in this item includes $31,981,550 the second year from the general fund for the state share of a payment equivalent to a 2.0 percent salary incentive increase, effective February 15, 2018, for funded SOQ instructional and support positions. Funded SOQ instructional positions shall include the teacher, guidance counselor, librarian, instructional aide, principal, and assistant principal positions funded through the SOQ staffing standards for each school division in the biennium. This amount includes $135,366 the second year referenced in paragraph 28. h., for the Academic Year Governor’s Schools for a 2.0 percent salary incentive increase, effective February 15, 2018, for instructional and support positions.

2) It is the intent that the instructional and support position salaries be increased in school divisions throughout the state by at least an average of 2.0 percent during the 2016-18 biennium. Sufficient funds are appropriated in this act to finance, on a statewide basis, the state share of a 2.0 percent salary increase for funded SOQ instructional and support positions, effective February 15, 2018, to school divisions which certify to the Department of Education, by June 1, 2017, that salary increases of a minimum average of 2.0 percent have been or will have been provided during the 2016-18 biennium, either in the first year or in the second year or through a combination of the two years, to instructional and support personnel.  In certifying that the salary increases have been provided, school divisions may not include any salary increases that were provided in the first year solely to offset the cost of required member contributions to the Virginia Retirement System under § 51.1-144, Code of Virginia.

  1. This funding is not intended as a mandate to increase salaries.”

 

Explanation

(This amendment provides funding for the state’s share of a 2.0 percent compensation supplement, for SOQ instructional and support positions and Academic Year Governor’s School instructional and support positions. The amount of state funding is calculated based on an effective date of February 15, 2018. School divisions shall have the flexibility to qualify for these state funds if they certify that they have provided or will provide an increase of at least 2.0 percent at some point during the 2016-18 biennium. In other words, at least 2.0 percent in fiscal year 2017 or at least 2.0 percent in fiscal year 2018, or via two separate increases in each fiscal year, such as 1.0 percent in fiscal year 2017 and 1.0 percent in fiscal year 2018 that together add to at least 2.0 percent. Companion amendments reverse the 1.5 percent bonus proposed in the budget as introduced and add $34.1 million to the Supplemental Lottery Per Pupil Allocation.)

FLEXIBLE (LOTTERY) FUND

 

Item 139 #8c

First Year – FY2017 Second Year – FY2018
Education
Direct Aid to Public Education FY2017   $0 FY2018   $34,099,139 GF

“school divisions are permitted to spend such funds on both recurring and nonrecurring expenses in a manner that best supports the needs of the school divisions.  No local match is required.”  

Explanation

(This amendment provides $34.1 million the second year from the general fund to increase the Lottery Per Pupil Allocation (PPA), bringing the total up to $191.3 million in the second year, which is 35 percent of the total Lottery Proceeds Fund.)