2020 General Assembly Session

Standards of Quality/Standards of Accreditation Related Legislation

2020 General Assembly Summary
Standards of Quality/Standards of Accreditation Related Legislation
Fairfax County Public Schools, Office of Government Relations

This report describes all of the Standards of Quality/Standards of Accreditation-related legislation considered during the 2020 General Assembly Regular Session.  Bills are listed in one of three categories: Approved, Continued to 2021, or Failed. 

Approved legislation goes into effect on July 1, 2020 unless otherwise specified in the legislation itself.

Bills designated as “Continued to 2021” are effectively “Failed” for purposes of the 2020 Session, but can still be acted upon by the Committee that recommended continuing the legislation prior to the 2021 Session (by December 3, 2020).  Even if a bill were to be acted upon prior to that deadline (which rarely occurs), it would still have to proceed through the remainder of the legislative process (pass in both chambers, signed by the Governor) during the 2021 Session.

Summaries are linked to the Division of Legislative Services’ web pages for text, up to date summary information, and fiscal impact statements. If a bill of interest is not found in one category, please check another as legislation often can fit under multiple categories.

 

UPDATED:  March 30, 2020

STANDARDS OF QUALITY/STANDARDS OF ACCREDITATION - PASSED

Career and Technical Education; Academic and Career Plans; Contents HB 1276 (O’Quinn) requires each school board to include, as part of each student's academic and career plan in the career and technical education curricula, a list of the top 100 professions in the Commonwealth by median pay and the education, training, and skills required for each such profession and the top 10 degree programs at institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth by median pay of program graduates. The bill requires the Department of Education to annually compile such lists and provide them to each local school board.

Credit Accommodations; Advanced Diploma; Standard Units of Credit; Certain Substitutions for SB 323 (Barker) requires the Board of Education, in establishing high school graduation requirements, to permit a student who is pursuing an advanced diploma and whose individualized education program specifies a credit accommodation for world language to substitute two standard units of credit in computer science for two standard units of credit in a world language. The bill provides that for any student electing to substitute a credit in computer science for credit in world language, his or her school counselor shall provide notice to the student and parent or guardian of possible impacts related to college entrance requirements.

Dual Enrollment and Work-based Learning Options High School Graduation; Standard Diploma Requirements HB 516 (Bulova) and SB 112 (Suetterlein) requires the Board of Education to include in its graduation requirements the options for students to complete a dual enrollment course or high-quality work-based learning experience. HB 516 incorporates HB 112 (McNamara).

English Language Learners;  Teacher Ratios; State Funding; HB 975 (Guzman) and SB 910 (Hashmi) require, effective with the 2020-2021 school year, state funding to be provided pursuant to the general appropriation act to support 18.5 full-time equivalent instructional positions for each 1,000 students identified as having limited English proficiency and, effective with the 2021-2022 school year, 20 full-time equivalent instructional positions for each 1,000 students identified as having limited English proficiency. HB 975 incorporates HB 1323 (Kory).

Licensed Behavior Analysts, Support Services Positions HB 1143 (Tran) includes licensed behavior analysts and licensed assistant behavior analysts as support services positions in a local school division for the purposes of Title 22.1 (Education).

Public School Accreditation; Triennial Review HB 1388 (Adams, D.M.) eliminates the ability of a school that only maintains a passing rate on Virginia assessment program tests or additional tests approved by the Board of Education of 95 percent or above in each of the four core academic areas for two consecutive years to apply for and receive a waiver of accreditation from the Department of Education, which waiver confers full accreditation for a three-year period.

School Counselors; Minimum Staffing Ratio HB 1508 (McQuinn) and SB 880 (Locke) require local school boards to employ school counselors in accordance with the following ratios, effective with the 2020-2021 school year: in elementary schools, one hour per day per 75 students, one full-time equivalent at 375 students, one hour per day additional time per 75 students or major fraction thereof; in middle schools, one period per 65 students, one full-time equivalent at 325 students, one additional period per 65 students or major fraction thereof; and in high schools, one period per 60 students, one full-time equivalent at 300 students, one additional period per 60 students or major fraction thereof. The bills also require local school boards to employ one full-time equivalent school counselor position per 325 students in grades kindergarten through 12, effective with the 2021-2022 school year. HB 1508 incorporates HB 398 (Keam).

School Counselor Positions; Data Collection HB 1653 (Wilt) requires the Department of Education to collect data from school boards regarding their ability to fill school counselor positions, including the number of school counselors employed in elementary, middle, and high schools in the local school division; the number and duration of school counselor vacancies; the number, role, and license type of other licensed counseling professionals employed by the school board; and information about their preferences for meeting updated school counselor to student ratios with other licensed counseling professionals.

"Students With Limited or Interrupted Formal Education"  Common Statewide Definition; SB 933 (Favola) requires the Department of Education to develop and adopt a common statewide definition for the term "students with limited or interrupted formal education" and to require local school divisions to report on the number of students who fall under such definition as part of the required data collection and reporting on average daily membership for the purposes of documenting any changes in such numbers over time. The bill requires that the Board of Education evaluate the supports and programs available to "students with limited or interrupted formal education" in local school divisions to determine whether the calculations for the school quality indicators within the Board's Regulations Establishing the Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia are appropriate or whether changes in methodology could be made to more comprehensively measure the academic and nonacademic achievement of such student population. 

 

STANDARDS OF QUALITY – CONTINUED TO 2021

Federal Accountability Indicators; PSAT/NMSQT, PreACT SB 1078 (Suetterlein) would direct the Department of Education to amend its state plan pursuant to the Every Student Succeeds Act to include the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test and the PreACT in the next federal accountability indicators application. The bill would direct the Department and the Board of Education to grant verified credit to students who have earned approved scores on these two tests and permit schools to count those students as a "pass."

Graduation Requirements; Certain Substitutions HB 1123 (Davis) would require the Board of Education, in establishing high school graduation requirements, to provide for the substitution of computer coding course credit for any foreign language course credit required to graduate with a standard or advanced diploma for children with disabilities.   

Graduation Requirements; English as a Second Language Courses HB 1400 (Willet) would require the Board of Education, in establishing high school graduation requirements, to permit English as a second language (ESL) courses to satisfy credit requirements for graduation.

Librarian Staffing Ratios HB 1599 (Roem) would require school boards to employ librarians in accordance with the following ratios: in elementary schools, one part-time to 299 students, one full-time at 300 students, and two full-time at 700 students; in middle schools, one-half time to 299 students, one full-time at 300 students, two full-time at 800 students, and three full-time at 1,700 students; and in high schools, one half-time to 299 students, one full-time at 300 students, two full-time at 900 students, and three full-time at 1,800 students.

 

STANDARDS OF QUALITY - FAILED

English Language Learner Students; Removal From Calculations HB 1294 (Kory) and SB 934 (Favola) would have required the Board of Education to permit any English language learner student who enters high school with an English language proficiency level of 1 or 2, has been enrolled in public schools in the Commonwealth for fewer than four semesters, and has a final four-year cohort status of dropout or unconfirmed to be removed from the calculation of the dropout rate and graduation and completion index non-academic school performance indicators for English language learner students under the Standards of Accreditation.

High School Graduation Requirements; Standard Diploma; Workforce Skills Training SB 551 (Ruff) would have required the Board of Education, in establishing high school graduation requirements, to permit any student who has successfully completed during high school at least two years of workforce skills training as evidenced by written certification from the training provider to graduate with a standard diploma without completing the remaining credit requirements for such diploma.

School Counselors Staffing Ratios HB 1515 (McQuinn) would have required school boards to employ school counselors in accordance with the following ratios: effective with the 2020 - 2021 school year, in elementary schools, one hour per day per 60 students, one full-time at 300 students, one hour per day additional time per 60 students or major fraction thereof; in middle and high schools, one period per 55 students, one full-time at 275 students, one additional period per 55 students or major fraction thereof and effective with the 2021 - 2022 school year, in elementary, middle, and high schools, one hour per day per 50 students, one full-time at 250 students, one additional hour per day per 50 students or major fraction thereof. Note that this bill’s content was nearly identical to HB 1508 (McQuinn) which did pass.

School Library Clerical Personnel; Ratios of Positions to Students HB 1415 (Roem) would have established, as part of each local school board's provision of those support services that are necessary for the efficient and cost-effective operation and maintenance of its public schools, the following ratios for school library clerical personnel positions: in elementary schools, one full-time at 300 students and two full-time at 700 students; in middle schools, one full-time at 300 students, two full-time at 800 students, and three full-time at 1,700 students; and in high schools, one full-time, two full-time at 900 students, and three full-time at 1,800 students.

School Nurse Staffing Ratios SB 151 (Stuart) would have excluded school nurse positions from requirements for student support positions and instead require each local school board to employ at least one full-time equivalent school nurse position in each elementary school, middle school, and high school in the local school division or at least one full-time equivalent school nurse position per 550 students in grades kindergarten through 12.

Standards of Quality; Work-Based Learning; Teacher Leaders and Mentors; Principal Mentors HB 1316 (Aird) and SB 728 (McClellan)  would have made several changes to the Standards of Quality, including requiring the establishment of units in the Department of Education to oversee work-based learning and principal mentorship statewide in Standard 1 and requiring the Board of Education to establish and oversee the local implementation of teacher leader and teacher mentor programs in Standard 5. The bill would have also made several changes relating to school personnel in Standard 2, including establishing schoolwide ratios of students to teachers in certain schools with high concentrations of poverty and granting flexibility to provide compensation adjustments to teachers in such schools; requiring each school board to assign licensed personnel in a manner that provides an equitable distribution of experienced, effective teachers and other personnel among all schools in the local school division; requiring each school board to employ teacher leaders and teacher mentors at specified student-to-position ratios; (iv) requiring state funding in addition to basic aid to support at-risk students and granting flexibility in the use of such funds by school boards; lowering the ratio of English language learner students to teachers; requiring each school board to employ reading specialists and establishing a student-to-position ratio for such specialists; requiring school boards to employ one full-time principal in each elementary school; lowering the ratio of students to assistant principals and school counselors in elementary, middle, and high schools; and requiring each school board to provide at least four specialized student support positions, including school social workers, school psychologists, school nurses, and other licensed health and behavioral positions, per 1,000 students. 

State Accountability and Reporting, Student Subgroup Size HB 399 (Keam) would have required, for the purposes of ensuring state accountability pursuant to relevant federal law and publicly reporting the assessment scores of student subgroups, the minimum student subgroup size to be 10. 

'Students With Limited or Interrupted Formal Education;' DOE to Develop Statewide Definition HB 522 (Kory) would have required the Department of Education to develop and adopt a common statewide definition for the term "students with limited or interrupted formal education" and to require school boards to report on the number of students who fall under such definition as part of the required data collection and reporting on average daily membership for the purposes of documenting any changes in such numbers over time and allowing for comparisons of such numbers across local school divisions. The bill would have provided that in developing and adopting such common statewide definition, the Department of Education shall consider and may adopt existing definitions of "students with limited or interrupted formal education."  Note that this bill’s content was identical to SB 933 (Favola) which did pass.