2018 General Assembly Comprehensive Bill Report

Comprehensive Bill Report

2018 General Assembly Summary

Education Related Legislation

Fairfax County Public Schools, Office of Government Relations

 

COMPREHENSIVE FINAL REPORT

 

This report describes all education-related legislation as considered during the 2018 General Assembly Session.  Legislation is reported as Adopted, Continued to 2019, or Failed.

 

Adopted legislation goes into effect as of July 1, 2018, unless otherwise noted in the legislation itself.

 

Bills designated as Continued are effectively “Failed” for purposes of the 2018 Session, but can technically still be acted upon by the Committee that recommended continuing the legislation prior to the 2019 Session (specifically by November 29, 2018).  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 2019 Session.

 

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

 

 

Updated: May 1, 2018

 

 

BUSES, BUILDINGS & SAFETY – APPROVED

 

Abandoned School Revitalization Zones HB 1179 (Pillion) and SB 448 (Chafin) allow localities to establish by ordinance one or more abandoned school revitalization zones for the purpose of providing incentives to private entities to purchase or develop real property or to assemble parcels suitable for economic development that include an abandoned school site. Each locality establishing an abandoned school revitalization zone may grant incentives and provide regulatory flexibility. The incentives may include, but not be limited to, (i) reduction of permit fees, (ii) reduction of user fees, (iii) reduction of any type of gross receipts tax or any other type of local tax as permitted by state law, and (iv) waiver of tax liens to facilitate the sale of property, if deemed appropriate. A school located in an abandoned school revitalization zone shall be eligible for participation in the Virginia Shell Building Initiative

 

Background Checks; Department of State Police to Recommend Options to Expedite Process SB 716 (Chase) requests that the Department of State Police (the Department) identify, analyze, and recommend options to expedite and improve the efficiency of its process for performing requested background checks. The bill requires the Department to report its findings and recommendations to the Chairmen of the House Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions and the Senate Committee on Rehabilitation and Social Services by November 1, 2018.

 

Bond Referenda; Authorizing Counties to Make Bond Issuance Contingent on Enactment of a Food and Beverage Tax HB 1390 (Aird) authorizes counties to enact ordinances providing that bonds shall be repaid from food and beverage tax revenues. The bill provides that if a county enacts such an ordinance, the referendum submitted to the voters shall include as a single question the issuance of bonds and the enactment of a food and beverage tax. Under current law, the questions of bond issuance and tax enactment are submitted as separate ballot questions.

 

Child Abuse and Neglect; Founded Reports Regarding Former School Employees HB 150 (Bulova) and SB 184 (Favola) require local departments of social services to notify the appropriate school board without delay if the subject of a founded complaint of child abuse or neglect was, at the time of the investigation or the conduct that led to the report, an employee of a school division located within the Commonwealth. 

 

Child Abuse and Neglect; Notice of Founded Reports to Superintendent of Public Instruction HB 389 (Keam) and SB 183 (Favola) requires local departments of social services to notify the Superintendent of Public Instruction without delay when an individual holding a license issued by the Board of Education is the subject of a founded complaint of child abuse or neglect and if the founded complaint of child abuse or neglect is dismissed on appeal.

 

Child Day Programs at Public School Facilities; Exemptions HB 836 (Bagby) prohibits the Board of Social Services from adopting regulations governing child day programs located at public school facilities that require inspection or approval of the building, vehicles used to transport children attending the child day program that are owned by the school, or meals served to such children that are prepared by the school.

 

Clinics for the Treatment of Opioid Addiction; Location HB 155 (McQuinn) and SB 329 (Dunnavant) provide that the prohibition on locating clinics for the treatment of persons with opiate addiction through the use of methadone or opioid replacements other than opioid replacements approved for the treatment of opioid addiction by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration within one-half mile of a public or private licensed day care center or a public or private K-12 school shall not apply to an applicant for a license to operate in its current location if the facility is within one-half mile of a public or private licensed day care center or a public or private K-12 school in Henrico County or the City of Richmond and has been licensed and operated as a facility to provide treatment for persons with opiate addiction through the use of methadone or other opioid replacements by another provider immediately prior to submission of the application for a license.  Note that the General Assembly accepted the Governor’s amendment to HB 155 to include the City of Newport News, and that SB 329 incorporated a similar bill, SB 455 (McClellan).

 

Commending Virginia Public School Bus Drivers SJ 60 (Hanger) commends Virginia public school bus drivers.

 

Net Energy Metering; Schools HB 1451 (Sullivan) directs Dominion Virginia Energy to conduct a pilot program, not exceeding 10 megawatts in the aggregate, under which any public school in the Commonwealth that generates more electricity from a wind-powered or solar-powered generation facility than it consumes in a billing period may either credit the excess electricity to the metered accounts of one or more other schools in the school division or be paid for the excess electricity at the contractually negotiated rate.

 

Reports to School Division Superintendents; Abduction HB 292 (Collins) adds abduction to the list of offenses that are reported to school division superintendents by a juvenile intake officer when a petition is filed alleging a student committed such offense. The bill adds abduction and acts of violence by mobs to the list of offenses reported to school division superintendents by a law-enforcement officer when a student who is 18 years of age or older is arrested for committing such an offense; acts of violence by mobs is already on the list reported by an intake officer for a minor student. The bill also adds abduction on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored activity to the list of incidents to be reported to school division superintendents and principals.

 

School Bus Operators; Required Training SB 557 (Hanger) and HB 810 (O’Quinn) require any school bus operator applicant who does not possess a commercial driver's license to receive (i) a minimum of 24 hours of classroom training and (ii) six hours of behind-the-wheel training on a school bus that contains no pupil passengers and requires any school bus operator applicant who possesses a commercial driver's license to receive (a) a minimum of four hours of classroom training and (b) three hours of behind-the-wheel training on a school bus that contains no pupil passengers. Current law leaves the setting of such hourly requirements to the Department of Education. Note that a similar bill to HB 810, HB 914 (Landes), failed.

School Bus Personnel; Training Program; Autism Spectrum Disorders SB 229 (Hanger) requires the Board of Education to establish a training program for school board employees who assist in the transportation of students on school buses, including individuals employed to operate school buses and school bus aides, on autism spectrum disorders, including the characteristics of autism spectrum disorders, strategies for interacting with students with autism spectrum disorders, and collaboration with other employees who assist in the transportation of students on school buses. The bill requires each school board employee who assists in the transportation of students with autism spectrum disorders on school buses to participate in such training program.


Trespass; Unmanned Aircraft System; Penalty HB 638 (Collins) and SB 526 (Obenshain) prohibits any political subdivision, which includes school boards, from regulating the use of privately owned, unmanned aircraft systems (drones).  The bill also provides that any person who knowingly and intentionally causes an unmanned aircraft system to enter the property of another and come within 50 feet of a dwelling house (i) to coerce, intimidate, or harass another person or (ii) after having been given notice to desist, for any other reason, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill also provides that any person who is required to register with the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry who uses or operates an unmanned aircraft system to knowingly and intentionally (a) follow or contact another person without such person's permission or (b) capture images of another person without such person's permission when such images render the person recognizable is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Additionally, any respondent of a permanent protective order who uses or operates an unmanned aircraft system to knowingly and intentionally follow, contact, or capture images of any individual named in the protective order is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Governor’s amendments to the bill added a study of the potential impact of the legislation, due by Nov. 1, 2019. Note that a proposed Governor’s amendment to carve out school boards from the blanket prohibition on regulating drone usage was unsuccessful.

 

Value Engineering HB 134 (Bell, J.J.) and SB 125 (Black) raise the minimum project cost requiring the use of value engineering from $5 million to $15 million. The bill exempts projects that are designed utilizing (i) a design-build contract or (ii) the Public-Private Transportation Act of 1995 from the value engineering requirements. Note that SB 125 incorporated SB 117 (Favola).

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Bid, Performance, and Payment Bonds; Waiver by Localities; Sunset HB 398 (Davis) adds a sunset date of July 1, 2021 to existing provisions authorizing a locality, where the bid, performance, and payment bond requirements are waived, to waive the requirement for prequalification for a bidder or contractor with a current Class A contractor license for non-transportation-related construction contracts in excess of $100,000 but less than $300,000 upon a written determination made in advance by the local governing body that waiving the requirement is in the best interests of the locality and prohibiting localities from entering into more than 10 such contracts per year.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Exemption for Virginia-Grown Food Products; Required Documentation HB 760 (Landes) requires a public body to accomplish procurement by obtaining written informal solicitation of a minimum of three bidders or offerors if practicable and including a written statement regarding the basis for awarding the contract when purchasing Virginia-grown food products under the current exemption from the Virginia Public Procurement Act for the purchase of Virginia-grown food products for use by a public body where the annual cost of the product is not expected to exceed $100,000.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Methods of Procurement; Single or Term Contracts for Professional Services HB 97 (Bell, J.J.) increases the maximum permissible aggregate or sum of all phases of single or term contracts for professional services that may be procured without requiring competitive negotiation from $60,000 to $80,000. The bill also increases the maximum total amount of all construction projects that may be performed in a one-year contract term of a contract for architectural or professional engineering services relating to multiple construction projects from $500,000 to $750,000, applying to localities with populations of 78,000 or less.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Executive Branch Agency's Goals for Participation by Small Businesses SB 651 (McPike) expands the requirement under the Virginia Public Procurement Act that any executive branch agency's goals for participation by small businesses include a minimum of three percent participation by service disabled veteran businesses from applying only to when contracting for information technology goods to all goods and services.

 

Wireless Support Structures; Public Rights-of-Way Use Fees HB 1427 (Kilgore) and SB 823 (McDougle) establishes an annual wireless support structure public rights-of-way use fee to be charged to wireless services providers and wireless infrastructure providers in connection with a permit for occupation and use of the public rights-of-way under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation (VDOT) for the construction of new wireless support structures. The amount of the use fee is (i) $1,000 for any wireless support structure at or below 50 feet in height; (ii) $3,000 for any wireless support structure above 50 feet and at or below 120 feet in height; (iii) $5,000 for any wireless support structure above 120 feet in height; and (iv) $1 per square foot for any other equipment, shelter, or associated facilities constructed on the ground. The measure provides that the use fee amounts shall be adjusted every five years on the basis of inflation. The measure also provides that VDOT may elect to continue enforcing any existing agreement, contract, license, easement, or permit allowing the use of the public rights-of-way by a wireless services provider or wireless infrastructure provider existing prior to July 1, 2018.

 

Zoning for Wireless Communications Infrastructure HB 1258 (Kilgore) and SB 405 (McDougle) establish parameters regarding applications for zoning approvals for certain wireless support structures. Applications for certain new wireless support structures that are 50 feet or less above ground level and for the co-location on an existing structure of a wireless facility that is not a small cell facility are exempt from requirements that they obtain a special exception, special use permit, or variance, though a locality may require administrative review for the issuance of any zoning permits or an acknowledgement that zoning approval is not required for such projects. Aspects of the zoning approval process addressed in this measure include periods for approval or disapproval of applications; a requirement that applications are deemed approved if not approved or disapproved within the applicable period; application fees; a prohibition against unreasonably discriminating between applicants and other wireless services providers, providers of telecommunications services, and other providers of functionally-equivalent service; and limits on the number of new wireless support structures that can be installed in a specific location. The measure prohibits a locality, in its receiving, consideration, and processing of an application for zoning approval, from engaging in certain activities. The measure states that it does not prohibit a locality from disapproving an application submitted under a standard process project on the basis of the availability of existing wireless support structures within a reasonable distance that could be used for co-location at reasonable terms and conditions without imposing technical limitations on the applicant. The measure also requires that any publicly owned or privately owned wireless service provider operating within the Commonwealth or serving residents of the Commonwealth shall, by January 1, 2019, and annually thereafter until January 1, 2025, provide to the Department of Housing and Community Development a report detailing, by county, city, or town, enhanced service capacity in previously served areas and expansion of service in previously unserved geographic areas that are provided access to wireless service. The measure also directs the Secretariats of Commerce and Trade and Public Safety and Homeland Security to convene a group of stakeholders to develop a plan for expanding access to wireless services in unserved and underserved areas of the Commonwealth.

 

 

BUSES, BUILDINGS & SAFETY – CONTINUED TO 2019

 

Cash Proffers; Impact Fees SB 944 (Stuart) would remove various provisions granting localities authority to accept cash proffers as part of the conditional rezoning process. The bill would repeal provisions that limit existing impact fee authority to localities that have established an urban transportation service district and areas outside of such service districts that are zoned for agricultural use and that are being subdivided for by-right residential development. The effect of the repeal will be to make the existing impact fee provisions available for use by any locality that includes within its comprehensive plan a calculation of the capital costs of public facilities necessary to serve residential uses.

 

Commercial Advertising Material on School Buses HB 809 (O’Quinn) would permit local school boards to display commercial advertising material on the sides of school buses between the rear wheels and the rear of the bus, provided that no such material obstructs the name of the school division or the number of the school bus, is sexually explicit, or pertains to alcohol; food or beverages that do not meet the nutrition standards developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture pursuant to the federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 or any additional state or local nutrition standards for food or beverages sold to students in school; gambling; politics; or tobacco.

 

Conditional Proffers; Public Facility Capacity; Previously Approved Residential Developments SB 458 (Peake) would authorize a locality to base its assessment of a public facility's capacity on the projected impacts specifically attributable to previously approved residential developments, or portions thereof, that have not yet been completed when determining whether a proffer is unreasonable. The bill would also remove language prohibiting a locality from accepting any unreasonable proffer; language prohibiting a locality from requesting any unreasonable proffer is retained.

 

Conditional Rezoning Proffer Requirements; Exemptions SB 957 (Black) would provide that certain provisions enacted in 2016 related to conditional rezoning proffers shall not apply to any county that operates under the county executive form of government that adjoins a county that operates under the urban county executive form of government (Prince William County) or to any city adjoining a county that operates under the urban county executive form of government (Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, and Falls Church) if such locality enacts an ordinance to provide that such provisions would not apply.

 

Deemed Consent to Testing of Bodily Fluids HB 1033 (Price) would allow a magistrate or a general district court to issue an order requiring a person to provide a blood specimen for testing for human immunodeficiency virus or the hepatitis B or C virus when exposure to bodily fluids occurs between a person and any health care provider, person employed by or under the direction and control of a health care provider, law-enforcement officer, firefighter, emergency medical services personnel, person employed by a public safety agency, or school board employee and the person whose blood specimen is sought refuses to consent to providing such specimen. Currently, only the general district court may issue such order. The bill would also allow a testing order to be issued based on a finding that there is probable cause to believe that exposure has occurred. Currently, there must be a finding by a preponderance of the evidence that exposure has occurred.

 

Firearms in Locked Vehicles; Immunity From Liability SB 351 (Peake) would provide that no person, property owner, tenant, employer, or business owner may prohibit a person who lawfully possesses a firearm from storing that firearm or ammunition for a firearm in a locked motor vehicle, take any adverse employment action against an employee or contractor for lawfully storing a firearm or ammunition for a firearm in a locked motor vehicle, or search an employee's or contractor's motor vehicle or require that an employee or contractor consent to such a search as a condition of employment. The bill would allow a person to petition a circuit court for an injunction to enforce his right to lawfully store a firearm or ammunition for a firearm in a locked motor vehicle. The bill would provide immunity for any person, property owner, tenant, employer, or business owner in a civil action for any occurrence resulting from the use of a lawfully stored firearm or ammunition for a firearm.

 

Impact Fees for Residential Development SB 208 (Stuart) would repeal provisions that limit existing impact fee authority to localities that have established an urban transportation service district and areas outside of such service districts that are zoned for agricultural use and that are being subdivided for by-right residential development. The effect of the repeal would be to make the existing impact fee provisions available for use by any locality that includes within its comprehensive plan a calculation of the capital costs of public facilities necessary to serve residential uses.

 

Public Procurement; Contracting for Construction on a Construction Management Basis SB 317 (Ruff) would authorize state public bodies and public institutions of higher education to enter into contracts for construction on a construction management basis where the estimated cost is expected to be greater than $40 million of actual construction costs without following certain statutory procedures. The bill also would change the threshold for local public bodies to contract for construction using construction management from $10 million to $40 million. The bill also would amend the components of the definition "complex project" by removing references to multifaceted program, unique equipment, and specialized building systems, adding unconventional building systems, clarifying that the accelerated schedule component of the definition must be due to regulatory mandates, and requiring that any historic designation be properly registered.

 

School Bus Video-Monitoring Systems; Release of Information by the Department of Motor Vehicles SB 700 (Deeds) would authorize the Department of Motor Vehicles to release vehicle owner data of a vehicle that failed to stop for a stopped school bus upon request of a video-monitoring system operator or upon request of the authorized agent or employee of a video-monitoring system operator.

 

School Principals; Incident Reports SB 476 (Reeves) would provide that school principals are not required to report criminal misdemeanors or status offenses to law enforcement if in the principal's discretion, based on a totality of the circumstances and consistent with Board of Education guidelines, such report is not warranted. The bill would require the Board of Education, in consultation with the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Office of the Attorney General, and any interested stakeholders, to update its Student Conduct Policy Guidelines to provide guidance for principals in exercising such discretion. Note that a bill with similar provisions, HB 445 (Carroll Foy), failed.

 

Sex Offenses Prohibiting Entry Onto School Property; Penalty HB 622 (Bell R.B.) would provide that an adult who has been convicted of any felony offense for which registration on the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry is required where the victim of the offense was a minor is guilty of a Class 6 felony if he enters or is present upon any property he knows or has reason to know is a public or private elementary or secondary school or child day center property during school hours and during school-related or school-sponsored activities; upon any property during hours when such property is being used by such a school for school-related or school-sponsored activities; or on any school bus.

 

 

BUSES, BUILDINGS & SAFETY - FAILED

 

Child Abuse or Neglect; Extension of Hearings HB 196 (Bulova) would have provided that a person who appeals a determination by a local department of social services related to child abuse or neglect to a hearing officer designated by the Commissioner of Social Services may request extensions of the hearing but that no extension causing the hearing to be delayed more than 90 days after the date on which the hearing was first scheduled to be held shall be granted absent a showing of compelling reasons to justify such extension.

 

Comprehensive Plan; Telecommunications Towers and Facilities; Planning District 8 HB 1526 (Plum) would have provided that localities in Planning District 8 (Northern Virginia) had the option to enact ordinances that deem proposed telecommunications towers or facilities constructed by certain entities to be substantially in accord with the comprehensive plan if any such proposed telecommunications tower or facility is located in a zoning district that allows such telecommunications towers or facilities by right, in which case local planning commission approval shall not be required.

 

Conditional Proffers SB 469 (Reeves) would have removed restrictions on the types of proffers a locality may request or accept in connection with a rezoning or proffer condition amendment as a condition of approval of a new residential development or residential use. The bill would have removed a restriction on denying an application on the basis of a failure or refusal to submit an unreasonable proffer or proffer condition amendment. The bill also would have removed a requirement that a proffer be made only when the new development will create a need in excess of the existing public facility capacity.

 

Conditional Proffers; Public Facility Capacity; Previously Approved Residential Developments HB 163 (Ware) would have authorized a locality to base its assessment of a public facility's capacity on the projected impacts specifically attributable to previously approved residential developments, or portions thereof, that have not yet been completed when determining whether a proffer is unreasonable.

 

Conditional Rezoning Proffers; Affordable Dwelling Units HB 89 (Bell, J.J.) would have exempted onsite proffers related to affordable dwelling units from provisions that determine whether a proffer is unreasonable.

 

Conditional Rezoning Proffer Reform, Study SJ 13 (Black) would have established a joint committee of the Senate Committee on Local Government and the House Committee on Counties, Cities and Towns to study the 2016 conditional rezoning proffer reform bill.

 

Cooperative Procurement of Professional Services; Construction; Solar Power Purchase Agreements SB 312 (Edwards) would have allowed contracting entities to contract for the provision of solar services in order to reduce energy cost.

 

Department of Criminal Justice Services; Human Trafficking Training Standard HB 689 (McQuinn) would have required the Department of Criminal Justice Services to establish compulsory training standards for law-enforcement personnel involved in criminal investigations or assigned to vehicle or street patrol duties to ensure that law-enforcement personnel are sensitive to and aware of human trafficking offenses and the identification of victims of human trafficking offenses.

 

Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity; Virginia Public Procurement Act; definition of small business HB 725 (Plum) would have changed the requirements of the definition of small business for the purposes of programs of the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity and the Virginia Public Procurement Act to require the business, together with affiliates, to have 250 or fewer employees and average annual gross receipts of $10 million or less averaged over the previous three years.

 

Firearms; Chambers of Local Governing Bodies SB 155 (Edwards) would have allowed a locality to adopt an ordinance that prohibits firearms, ammunition, or components or a combination thereof at any regular or special meeting of such local governing body, provided that notice of such prohibition is publicly posted and the meeting room is owned or operated by the locality.

 

Firearms in Libraries Owned or Operated by Localities HB 68 (McQinn) would have allowed a locality to adopt an ordinance that prohibits firearms, ammunition, or components or a combination thereof in libraries owned or operated by the locality.

 

Firearms on School Property SB 79 (Lucas) would have added public, private, or religious preschools and child day centers that are not operated at the residence of the provider or of any of the children to the list of schools where possessing a firearm on school property or on a school bus is prohibited.

 

Handheld Photo Speed Monitoring Devices SB 917 (Chase) would have provided that a law-enforcement officer may operate a handheld photo speed monitoring device, defined in the bill, in or around a school crossing zone for the purpose of recording images of vehicles that are traveling at speeds of at least 12 miles per hour above the posted school crossing zone speed limit within such school crossing zone when such school crossing zone is indicated by appropriately placed signs displaying the maximum speed limit and the use of such handheld automated speed monitoring device.

 

Investigation of Child Abuse, Study of Laws and Policies HJ 122 (Reid) would have directed the Virginia State Crime Commission to study the laws and policies governing the reporting, investigation, and tracking of cases of alleged child abuse in the Commonwealth. The study would have also requested that the Commission identify any advantages or disadvantages of requiring local police departments or the Virginia State Police to investigate every complaint of alleged child abuse and that the Commission make recommendations to increase the quality and effectiveness of child protective services and investigations into alleged cases of child abuse.

 

Menstrual Supplies; Certain School Buildings HB 1434 (Keam) would have required each school board to make tampons and pads available at all times and at no cost to students in the bathrooms of each facility that it owns, leases, or otherwise controls that houses a public school at which any student in grades six through 12 is enrolled.

 

Minimum Speed Limits HB 428 (Marshall) would have established a minimum speed of 45 miles per hour on interstate highways or other limited access highways with divided roadways, nonlimited access highways having four or more lanes, and all primary highways.

 

Passing a Stopped School Bus; Driving Record HB 492 (LaRock) and SB 805 (Carrico) would have provided that the imposition of a civil penalty for passing a stopped school bus shall not be deemed a conviction as an operator and shall not be made part of the driving record of the person upon whom such civil penalty is imposed, nor shall it be used for insurance purposes in the provision of motor vehicle insurance coverage.

 

Passing a Stopped School Bus; Injury to Another Person; Penalty SB 381 (Chafin) would have provided that any person who unlawfully passes a stopped school bus while driving a motor vehicle and causes serious bodily injury to another person is guilty of a Class 5 felony.

 

Passing a Stopped School Bus; Local Ordinances HB 1289 (Guzman) would have provided that a summons for a violation of a local ordinance prohibiting passing a stopped school bus shall be on a form provided by the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court. The bill would have provided that any penalty imposed under such ordinance would not have been reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles or made part of the operator's driving record. The bill would have provided that any such ordinance adopted by a county applies to infractions that occur in a town located within the county for which the county provides the public school system.

 

Passing a Stopped School Bus; Penalty HB 219 (Morefield) would have required that any person who fails to stop his vehicle and remain stopped when approaching, from any direction, a school bus that is stopped on any highway, private road, or school driveway for the purpose of taking on or discharging passengers, and as the sole and proximate result of his reckless driving causes the serious injury or death of another, would have been guilty of a Class 5 felony.

 

Pneumatic Guns on School Property; Penalty HB 1327 (Edmunds) would have made it a Class 6 felony to possess a pneumatic gun, i.e., a gun that will expel a BB or a pellet by action of pneumatic pressure, on school property, property being used exclusively for school-sponsored functions or extracurricular activities, or a school bus.

 

Polling Places; Memorandum of Understanding HB 628 (Marshall) would have directed the Attorney General to develop and make available a template memorandum of understanding to be used by the localities when establishing polling places. The bill would have allowed governing bodies to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the entity or person authorized to grant the use of the facility as a polling place.

 

Prevailing Wage; Public Works Contracts; Penalty HB 667 (Krizek) would have required contractors and subcontractors under any public contract with a state agency for public works to pay wages, salaries, benefits, and other remuneration to any mechanic, laborer, or worker employed, retained, or otherwise hired to perform services in connection with the public contract for public works at the prevailing wage rate.

 

Prohibit Certain Local Government Practices That Would Require Contractors to Provide Certain Compensation or Benefits HB 375 (Davis) would have prohibited local governing bodies from establishing provisions related to procurement of goods, professional services, or construction that would require a wage floor or any other employee benefit or compensation above what is otherwise required by state or federal law to be provided by a contractor to one or more of the contractor's employees as part of a contract with the locality. Note that this legislation passed both House and Senate, but was vetoed by the Governor and the House sustained the veto.

 

Prohibited Discrimination; Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity HB 401 (Levine) would have prohibited discrimination in employment, public accommodation, public contracting, apprenticeship programs, housing, banking, and insurance on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

 

Public-Private Transportation Act of 1995; Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002 HB 1070 (Heretick) would have required a private entity requesting approval to develop and operate a qualifying transportation facility under the Public-Private Transportation Act of 1995 or a qualifying project under the Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002 to include an economic impact analysis identifying any potentially adverse economic or revenue impacts that a potential comprehensive agreement may have on all affected local jurisdictions.

 

Public Procurement; Agreements With Labor Organizations HB 8 (Krizek) would have repealed provisions requiring state agencies to ensure that neither the state agency nor any construction manager acting on behalf of the state agency, in its bid specifications, project agreements, or other controlling documents relating to the operation, erection, construction, alteration, improvement, maintenance, or repair of any public facility of public works, requiring or prohibiting bidders, offerors, contractors, or subcontractors to enter into or adhere to agreements with one or more labor organizations, on the same or related projects, or discriminate against bidders, offerors, contractors, subcontractors, or operators for becoming or refusing to become or remain signatories or otherwise to adhere to agreements with one or more labor organizations, on the same or related public works projects.

 

Public Procurement; Construction Management and Transportation Construction Services HB 1271 (Sickles) would have authorized state public bodies and public institutions of higher education to enter into contracts for construction on a construction management basis and without following certain statutory procedures when the estimated cost is expected to be greater than $40 million.

 

Public School Buses; Seat Belts HB 224 (Krizek) would have required the Board of Education to make regulations to require each new public school bus purchased for the transportation of students to be equipped with a seat belt consisting of a lap belt and shoulder strap or harness in every seat. The bill would have required each school board to ensure that no later than July 1, 2036, each school bus that it uses for the transportation of students is equipped with a seat belt in every seat.  HB 1586 (Convirs-Fowler) would have required the Board of Education to make regulations to require each new public school bus purchased for the transportation of students to be equipped with a seat belt in every seat. The bill would have required each school board to ensure that no later than July 1, 2038, each school bus that it uses for the transportation of students is equipped with a seat belt in every seat.

 

Public School Capital Grant Program Established HB 1431 (Bell, R.P.) would have required the Virginia Public Building Authority to establish and administer the Public School Capital Grant Program (the Program) for the purpose of providing grants on a competitive basis to any local school board that governs a local school division in a locality that is determined to have high fiscal stress by the Virginia Commission on Local Government in its most recent "Report on the Comparative Revenue Capacity, Revenue Effort, and Fiscal Stress of Virginia Counties and Cities" for such school board to use for school building capital renovation or construction projects. The bill would have capped each Program grant at $10 million and requires local matching funds for each such grant.

 

Regulation of Firearms in Government Buildings HB 261 (Price) and SB 668 (Deeds) would have allowed localities to regulate the possession of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof in, or the carrying of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof into, any building owned or used by such locality for governmental purposes.

 

Rights of Persons With Disabilities; Procedures for Certain Actions; Notice and Opportunity to Cure SB 199 (DeSteph) would have provided that before bringing a civil action based on the failure to remove an architectural barrier, as defined in the bill, to access into an existing public accommodation, the aggrieved person shall provide to the owners or operators a written notice that provides the name of the individual alleging a failure to remove the architectural barrier; provides the date, place, and manner in which the aggrieved person discovered the alleged violation; cites the law alleged to be violated; identifies each architectural barrier that is the subject of an alleged violation and specifies its location on the premises; and provides a reasonable period for response, which shall not be less than 60 days after receipt of notice.

 

Safety Restraints on Motor Vehicles HB 9 (Krizek) would have required that all occupants of a motor vehicle use safety restraints.

 

School Buildings; Potable Water; Lead Testing HB 1578 (Kory) would have required each local school board's plan for testing potable water sources in school buildings to provide for such testing as often as is required of the supplying public water system by the Virginia Department of Health's Office of Drinking Water pursuant to regulations established in accordance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. The bill would have required such plan and the results of each test conducted pursuant to such plan to be posted on the local school board's website and reported to the Virginia Department of Health. The bill would have provided that if the results of any test conducted in accordance with the plan indicate a level of lead in the potable water that is at or above 20 parts per billion, the school board shall develop, implement, post on its website, and report to the Virginia Department of Health a plan to remediate the level of lead in the potable water to below 20 parts per billion and confirm such remediation by retesting the water at two consecutive six-month intervals, consistent with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

 

School Buses; Extended Warning Signs HB 827 (Bell, R.B.) would have required the Board of Education to promulgate regulations requiring any new public school bus placed into service on or after July 1, 2018, to be equipped with an extended warning sign that works in conjunction with the existing warning signs and extends into the lane of travel immediately adjacent to the bus to the left of the bus driver and determine the feasibility and effectiveness of requiring that public school buses placed into service prior to July 1, 2018, be equipped with such extended warning signs.

 

School Zones; Use of Certain Devices by Drivers Prohibited SB 74 (Surovell) would have expanded the prohibition on using a handheld personal communications device while operating a motor vehicle to all communications unless the device is specifically designed to allow voice and hands-free operation and the device is being used in that manner. Note that provisions from SB 441 (Wexton) were incorporated into this bill.

 

Speed Monitoring Systems; School Crossing Zones HB 1021 (Adams) would have provided that a locality may, by ordinance, establish a speed enforcement program utilizing an automated speed monitoring system, defined in the bill, that creates recorded images of vehicles traveling at least 10 miles per hour in excess of the maximum applicable speed limit. The penalty imposed for violating applicable speed limits where such violation is established by recorded images produced by a speed monitoring system would not have been able to exceed $50. The bill would have provided that a locality could install and operate a speed monitoring system only at school crossing zones.

 

Synthetic Turf That Contains Recycled Crumb Rubber from Waste Tires at Schools and Recreational Parks; Three-Year Moratorium on Installation HB 565 (Gooditis) would have placed a three-year moratorium on the installation of synthetic turf that contains recycled crumb rubber from waste tires within the boundaries of a public or private elementary or secondary school, public or private preschool, or recreational park by any public or private elementary or secondary school, public or private preschool, or local governing body.

 

Tobacco Products and Nicotine Vapor Products SB 303 (Marsden) would have required each school board to develop and implement a policy to prohibit the use of tobacco products and nicotine vapor products on a school bus, on school property, or at a school-sponsored activity and include in its code of student conduct a prohibition against possessing tobacco products or nicotine vapor products on a school bus, on school property, or at a school-sponsored activity.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Architectural and Professional Engineering Term Contracts HB 647 (Bell, J.J.) would have increased from $500,000 to $750,000 the maximum total amount of all construction projects that may be performed in a one-year contract term of a contract for architectural or professional engineering services relating to multiple construction projects.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Bid Match Preference for Virginia Businesses HB 193 (Bell, R. P.) would have provided that a bid match preference for Virginia businesses. Under the bill, for contracts of $5,000 or more, a Virginia business would have had an opportunity to match the lowest bid of an out-of-state bidder if the bid of a Virginia business is within five percent of the lowest bid of an out-of-state bidder.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Competitive Negotiation for Professional Services HB 98 (Bell, J.J.) and SB 188 (Favola) would have provided that for competitive negotiation for professional services, a public body may conduct negotiations simultaneously with the top two ranked offerors if the public body does not request or discuss nonbinding estimates of total project costs at the discussion stage and as long as such process is set forth in the Request for Proposal.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Competitive Sealed Bidding HB 657 (Davis) would have required bidders to submit two bids for any procurement that will receive less than 25 percent of its funding from the federal government. One bid shall include costs that account for wages required under the Davis-Bacon Act, 40 U.S.C. §§ 276a-276a-5, as amended, and the other bid shall include costs that account for wages as customarily paid by the bidder.

 

Virginia Public Procurement; Contracting for Construction on a Construction Management Basis HB 774 (Landes) would have authorized state public bodies and public institutions of higher education to enter into contracts for construction on a construction management basis where the estimated cost is expected to be greater than $40 million of actual construction costs without following certain statutory procedures.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Cooperative Procurement; Construction HB 921 (Lopez) would have allowed public bodies to utilize cooperative procurement for public utility and infrastructure projects and the demolition of buildings, where the expected cost is less than $500,000.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Definitions; Responsible Bidder or Offeror HB 257 (Hope) would have clarified the definition of "responsible bidder" or "offeror" in the procurement act to provide that a determination of whether a bidder or offeror is responsible shall include a consideration of the bidder's or offeror's previous experience.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; High-Risk Contracts; Report HB 608 (Carr) would have required the Department of General Services (DGS), the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA), and the Office of the Attorney General, as appropriate, to review contract solicitations and contracts for any public contract for goods, services, insurance, or construction that meets the definition of high-risk contract provided in the bill.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Local Labor Use Requirement for Certain Construction Contracts; Civil Penalty SB 241 (Marsden) would have added to the Virginia Public Procurement Act (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.) the requirement that every public body, when engaged in procuring contracts for construction with a projected cost in excess of $500,000 paid for in whole by state or local funds, include in its specifications a requirement that at least 75 percent of the employees employed by contractors and subcontractors for the construction project be from the local labor market.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Preference for Businesses Participating in Virginia Registered Apprenticeship Program HB 306 (Watts) would have authorized a public body to give preference to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder who is a resident of Virginia, who participates in the Virginia Registered Apprenticeship program administered by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry, and whose bid is within three percent of the lowest bid price. SB 650 (McPike) would have authorized a locality to develop and implement a bidding system that gives preference to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder who is a resident of Virginia and participates in the Virginia Registered Apprenticeship program administered by the Department of Labor and Industry.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Prompt Payment; Payment Date HB 724 (Plum) would have amended the prompt payment provisions of the Virginia Public Procurement Act by changing the definition of "payment date" from 30 days to 15 days after receipt of a proper invoice by the state agency, where a contract does not specify the payment date.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Public Works Contract Requirements; Apprenticeship Utilization HB 557 (Krizek) would have created minimum requirements for the use of apprentices in public works projects paid for in whole or in part by state funds. The bill would have provided that the failure of a contractor to comply with the apprentice utilization requirement shall be deemed a breach of contract entitling the contracting agency to all remedies allowed by law and under the contract and considered as evidence bearing upon a contractor's qualification for the award of future contracts.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Request for Proposals; Publication HB 851 (Ingram) would have removed the requirement of newspaper publication of Requests for Proposals for professional services.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Small Business and Microbusiness Procurement Enhancement Program HB 726 (Plum) and HB 1407 (Ward) would have codified the Governor's Executive Order 20 (2014) establishing a statewide small business and microbusiness procurement enhancement program. The bill would have established a statewide goal of 42 percent of small and microbusiness utilization in all discretionary spending by state agencies in procurement orders, prime contracts, and subcontracts. In addition, the bill would have provided for a set-aside for competition among all small businesses for state agency purchases up to $100,000 for goods and nonprofessional services and up to $50,000 for professional services and a set-aside for competition among microbusinesses for purchases under $10,000.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Statute of Limitations on Actions on Construction Contracts; Statute of Limitations on Actions on Performance Bonds HB 1084 (Yancey) would have provided that unless otherwise specified in the contract, no action may be brought by a public body on any construction contract unless such action is brought within five years after completion of the contract, including the expiration of all warranties and guarantees. The bill would have also limited the time frame during which a public body, other than the Department of Transportation, may bring an action against a surety on a performance bond to within five years after completion of the contract, including the expiration of all warranties and guarantees.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Use of Best Value Contracting HB 473 (Reid) would have authorized the use of best value contracting by all public bodies. The bill would have set forth the requirements for any procurement process that uses best value concepts.

 

Voter Registration; Notice and Public Access Not Required for Certain Voter Registration Events SB 358 (McClellan) would have provided that voter registration conducted in a high school and voter registration events sponsored or conducted by an entity or organization which the general registrar or an assistant registrar attends as an invitee are not required to be open to the public. Currently, opportunities for voter registration are required to be provided at sites open to the public. The bill also would have provided that notice is not required for voter registration events that are not open to the public which the general registrar or an assistant registrar attends or voter registration events which the general registrar or an assistant registrar attends as an invitee. Note this bill incorporated provisions from SB 131 (Edwards).

 

Zoning for Wireless Communications Infrastructure HB 1131 (Gooditis) would have repealed provisions creating a uniform procedure for the way in which small cell facilities on existing structures are approved by localities and approved and installed in public rights-of-way.

 

 

CONDUCT & DISCIPLINE - APPROVED

 

Compulsory School Attendance HB 829 (Bagby) clarifies that each parent of a school-age child in the Commonwealth is required to cause his child to attend school.  Current law requires parents to “send” their child to school.

 

Informal Truancy Plans HB 274 (Ward) provides that a student may have up to three discretionary diversions for truancy so long as the immediately previous diversion occurred at least three calendar years prior to the current diversion.

 

Long Term Suspensions HB 1600 (Bourne) clarifies that that a long-term suspension could extend beyond a 45-school day period not to exceed 364 calendar days if the offense is one described in 22.1-277.07 (firearms) or 22.1-277.08 (drugs) or involves serious bodily injury or the school board or division superintendent or his designee finds that aggravating circumstances exist, as defined by the Department of Education.  The Department’s definition of aggravating circumstances will include a consideration of the student’s disciplinary history.

 

Reports to School Division Superintendents; Abduction HB 292 (Collins) adds abduction to the list of offenses that are reported to school division superintendents by a juvenile intake officer when a petition is filed alleging a student committed such offense. The bill adds abduction and acts of violence by mobs to the list of offenses reported to school division superintendents by a law-enforcement officer when a student who is 18 years of age or older is arrested for committing such an offense; acts of violence by mobs is already on the list reported by an intake officer for a minor student. The bill also adds abduction on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored activity to the list of incidents to be reported to school division superintendents and principals.

 

Schedule I Controlled Substances HB 1194 (Garrett) adds various drugs to the list of Schedule I controlled substances.

 

Student Attendance, Unexcused Absences HB 1485 (Filler-Corn) and SB 841 (Favola) make several changes to the procedures relating to interventions when a pupil fails to report to school for a total of five scheduled school days for the school year, no indication has been received by school personnel that the pupil's parent is aware of and supports the pupil's absence, and a reasonable effort to notify the parent has failed; including granting additional flexibility as to how and when interventions are to occur, permitting but not requiring the attendance officer to participate in the initial plan to address non-attendance, as well as in any conference necessitated by additional absences subsequent to the development of the initial plan.  In addition, the bills permit but do not require the attendance officer to file a complaint with the juvenile and domestic relations court alleging the pupil is a child in need of supervision or to institute criminal proceedings against the parent pursuant to relevant law.

 

Suspensions; Students in Grades PreK-3 SB 170 (Stanley) limits suspensions for students in grades preK-3 to 3 days or expulsions unless the conduct involved drug offenses, firearm offenses, certain criminal acts, physical harm or threats thereof, or aggravating circumstances, which would be defined by the Department of Education.

 

 

CONDUCT & DISCIPLINE – CONTINUED TO 2019

 

Schedule I Drugs; Classification for Fentanyl Derivatives SB 436 (Wexton) would add to Schedule I of the Drug Control Act a classification for fentanyl derivatives.

 

School Principals; Incident Reports SB 476 (Reeves) would provide that school principals are not required to report criminal misdemeanors or status offenses to law enforcement if in the principal's discretion, based on a totality of the circumstances and consistent with Board of Education guidelines, such report is not warranted. The bill would require the Board of Education, in consultation with the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Office of the Attorney General, and any interested stakeholders, to update its Student Conduct Policy Guidelines to provide guidance for principals in exercising such discretion. Note that a bill with similar provisions, HB 445 (Carroll Foy), failed.

 

Topical Sunscreen for Public Elementary and Secondary Students HB 330 (Yancey) would permit any public elementary or secondary school student to possess and use unscented topical sunscreen in its original packaging on a school bus, on school property, or at a school-sponsored event without a note or prescription from a licensed health care professional if the topical sunscreen is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for nonprescription use for the purpose of limiting damage to skin caused by exposure to ultraviolet light.

 

 

CONDUCT & DISCIPLINE – FAILED

 

Alternative Education Programs HB 688 (McQuinn) would have required local school boards to provide alternative education programs for suspended students.

 

Alternative Student Discipline; Assault and Battery Without Bodily Injury HB 15 (Mullin) would have required a principal to first take appropriate alternative disciplinary action or determine that no such appropriate alternative disciplinary action exists before referring to the local law-enforcement agency student incidents of assault and assault and battery without bodily injury.

 

Criminal Street Gang; Predicate Offenses; Penalty HB 502 (Mullin) would have added sexual battery to the list of predicate criminal acts that, if committed by a member of a criminal street gang, may be subject to additional criminal penalties in addition to the penalties associated with the underlying offense.  HB 983 (Guzman) would have added burglary with the intent to commit larceny, assault and battery, or certain felonies and burglary with the intent to commit any other misdemeanor to the list of predicate criminal acts associated with gang activity.

 

Education Records; Disposition; Children in Need of Services HB 1115 (VanValkenburg) would have provided that when a juvenile is alleged to have committed a delinquent act in certain circumstances and a juvenile and domestic relations district court admits evidence related to an Individualized Education Program, a Section 504 Plan, a behavioral intervention plan, or a functional behavioral assessment, if the court makes a finding that the juvenile is responsible because he acted intentionally or willfully when committing the delinquent act, the court shall enter an order of adjudication or an order of disposition, but if the court makes a finding that the juvenile is not responsible because he did not act intentionally or willfully when committing the delinquent act, the court may enter an order of disposition or commitment authorized for children in need of services, if the juvenile has reached the age of 18 years, enter an order of emergency custody, or dismiss the petition.

 

Electronic Transmission of Sexually Explicit Images by Minors; Penalties SB 168 (Stanley) would have provided that a minor who knowingly transmits, distributes, publishes, or disseminates any sexually explicit visual material to another minor without the intent to harass, intimidate, or extort money or other pecuniary gain, by any means whatsoever on any device or through any media or through the use of a computer system, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill also would have provided that any minor who knowingly possesses at least one but not more than 10 images containing sexually explicit visual material and such images are obtained with the consent of the depicted minor is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. The bill would have authorized the court to defer and dismiss a first offense of either provision. Note that this bill incorporated provisions of SB 607 (Surovell).

Tobacco Products and Nicotine Vapor Products SB 303 (Marsden) would have required each school board to develop and implement a policy to prohibit the use of tobacco products and nicotine vapor products on a school bus, on school property, or at a school-sponsored activity and include in its code of student conduct a prohibition against possessing tobacco products or nicotine vapor products on a school bus, on school property, or at a school-sponsored activity.

 

Safe Reporting of Criminal Sexual Assault HB 522 (Sullivan) would have established an affirmative defense to prosecution of an individual for simple possession of a controlled substance, marijuana, or controlled paraphernalia; intoxication in public; or the unlawful purchase, possession, or consumption of alcohol if such individual reports to a law-enforcement officer that he was the victim of or witness to a criminal sexual assault that occurred concurrently with the conduct listed in clause (i), (ii), or (iii) if the evidence for the charge was obtained as a result of the individual reporting the criminal sexual assault. The bill would have provided that no individual may assert this affirmative defense if the emergency medical attention sought or obtained was during the execution of a search warrant or during the conduct of a lawful search or a lawful arrest. The bill would have provided further that no disciplinary action, including expulsion, shall be taken against a student for any conduct involving alcohol, marijuana, a controlled substance, or an imitation controlled substance on a school bus, school property, or at a school-sponsored activity if, concurrent to such conduct, the student was a victim of or witness to a criminal sexual assault.

 

Suspensions; Students in Grades PreK-3 HB 296 (Bell, R.P.) would have prohibited students in preschool through grade three from being suspended or expelled except for drug offenses, firearm offenses, or certain criminal acts.

 

 

FINANCE/PURCHASING/FOOD SERVICES – APPROVED

 

Literary Fund; Application for Loans by Regional and Joint Schools SB 658 (Wagner) clarifies that school boards of school divisions participating in a regional or joint school may jointly apply to the Board of Education for a loan from the Literary Fund to benefit the regional or joint school.

 

Revenue Reserve Fund, Created.  HB 763 (Jones, S.C.) creates the Revenue Reserve Fund (“the Fund”) to offset shortfalls in the budget of two percent or less of certified tax revenues collected.  This fund is separate and above and beyond the Revenue Stabilization Fund as required by Article X, Section 8 of the Constitution of Virginia.

 

School Meal Policies HB 50 (Hope) and SB 840 (Favola) require each local school board to adopt policies that prohibit school board employees from requiring a student who cannot pay for a meal at school or who owes a school meal debt to do chores or other work to pay for such meals or wear a wristband or hand stamp and would require school board employees to direct any communication relating to a school meal debt to the student's parent, which may be made by a letter addressed to the parent to be sent home with the student.

 

Value Engineering HB 134 (Bell, J.J.) and SB 125 (Black) raise the minimum project cost requiring the use of value engineering from $5 million to $15 million. The bill exempts projects that are designed utilizing (i) a design-build contract or (ii) the Public-Private Transportation Act of 1995 from the value engineering requirements. Note that SB 125 incorporated SB 117 (Favola).

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Bid, Performance, and Payment Bonds; Waiver by Localities; Sunset HB 398 (Davis) adds a sunset date of July 1, 2021 to existing provisions authorizing a locality, where the bid, performance, and payment bond requirements are waived, to waive the requirement for prequalification for a bidder or contractor with a current Class A contractor license for non-transportation-related construction contracts in excess of $100,000 but less than $300,000 upon a written determination made in advance by the local governing body that waiving the requirement is in the best interests of the locality and prohibiting localities from entering into more than 10 such contracts per year.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Exemption for Virginia-Grown Food Products; Required Documentation HB 760 (Landes) requires a public body to accomplish procurement by obtaining written informal solicitation of a minimum of three bidders or offerors if practicable and including a written statement regarding the basis for awarding the contract when purchasing Virginia-grown food products under the current exemption from the Virginia Public Procurement Act for the purchase of Virginia-grown food products for use by a public body where the annual cost of the product is not expected to exceed $100,000.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Methods of Procurement; Single or Term Contracts for Professional Services HB 97 (Bell, J.J.) increases the maximum permissible aggregate or sum of all phases of single or term contracts for professional services that may be procured without requiring competitive negotiation from $60,000 to $80,000. The also increases the maximum total amount of all construction projects that may be performed in a one-year contract term of a contract for architectural or professional engineering services relating to multiple construction projects from $500,000 to $750,000, applying to localities with populations of 78,000 or less.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Executive Branch Agency's Goals for Participation by Small Businesses SB 651 (McPike) expands the requirement under the Virginia Public Procurement Act that any executive branch agency's goals for participation by small businesses include a minimum of three percent participation by service disabled veteran businesses from applying only to when contracting for information technology goods to all goods and services.

 

 

FINANCE/PURCHASING/FOOD SERVICES – CONTINUED TO 2019

 

Composite Index of Local Ability to Pay, Land-Use Assessment Value SB 537 (Hanger) would require the General Assembly to modify the current standards of quality funding formula and calculation of composite index of local ability to pay to incorporate within the real estate indicator of local wealth the land-use assessment value for those properties located within a land-use plan. 

 

Composite Index of Local Ability to Pay; Certain Counties SB 880 (Stuart) would require that the composite index of local ability to pay for any county within which there is a school division composed of a town be calculated as if there were no such school division composed of a town within the county.

 

Composite Index of Local Ability to Pay; Virginia Regional Industrial Facilities Act; Revenue Sharing; HB 692 (Marshall) would require the Department of Taxation's calculation of true values as applied to the Commonwealth's composite index of local ability-to-pay to take into account an arrangement by localities entered into pursuant to the Virginia Regional Industrial Facilities Act whereby a portion of tax revenue is initially paid to one locality and redistributed to another locality. The bill would require such calculation to properly apportion the percentage of tax revenue ultimately received by each locality. The bill would have a delayed effective date of July 1, 2020.

 

Public Procurement; Contracting for Construction on a Construction Management Basis SB 317 (Ruff) would authorize state public bodies and public institutions of higher education to enter into contracts for construction on a construction management basis where the estimated cost is expected to be greater than $40 million of actual construction costs without following certain statutory procedures. The bill also would change the threshold for local public bodies to contract for construction using construction management from $10 million to $40 million. The bill also would amend the components of the definition "complex project" by removing references to multifaceted program, unique equipment, and specialized building systems, adding unconventional building systems, clarifying that the accelerated schedule component of the definition must be due to regulatory mandates, and requiring that any historic designation be properly registered.  Note that a similar bill, HB 774 (Landes), failed in the House.

 

Required Local Effort for Basic Aid; Debt Service on Projects in Certain School Divisions HB 670 (Kilgore) would permit any local school board that governs a school division in which the locality is designated as fiscally at-risk or fiscally distressed by the Appalachian Regional Commission in the most recent fiscal year or is determined to have above-average fiscal stress or high fiscal stress by the Virginia Commission on Local Government in its most recent "Report on the Comparative Revenue Capacity, Revenue Effort, and Fiscal Stress of Virginia Counties and Cities" and for which the composite index of local ability to pay is less than or equal to 0.2000 to expend up to 25 percent of the required local effort for basic aid for debt service on school building capital renovation or construction projects. The bill would provide that in the event that the school division no longer meets such criteria, the local school board shall develop and implement a plan to readjust expenditures of the required local effort for basic aid over the course of no more than four fiscal years. The bill would also provide that in the event that a school division that no longer met such criteria and that developed such plan subsequently meets the criteria again, the local school board may seek the approval of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to amend such plan. The bill would have an expiration date of July 1, 2030.

 

School Nurses; Staffing Standards SB 366 (Stuart) would exclude 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. Note that all other Nurse staffing ratio-related bills failed (see below).

 

 

FINANCE/PURCHASING/FOOD SERVICES – FAILED

 

Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Testing Grant Fund and Program; Establishment HB 1502 (Miyares) would have established the Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Testing Grant Fund and Program for the purpose of awarding grants to local school boards to be used to cover half of the fee required to participate in any Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate test for any high school student in the local school division who receives free or reduced price lunch.

 

Budget Bill HB 29 (Jones, S.  Chris) and SB 29 (Norment) would have amended Chapter 836 of the 2017 Acts of Assembly.

 

Budget Bill HB 30 (Jones, S. Chris) and SB 30 (Norment) would have contained the Appropriations of the Budget submitted by the Governor of Virginia in accordance with the provisions of § 2.2-1509, Code of Virginia, and provides a portion of revenues for the two years ending respectively on the thirtieth day of June, 2019, and the thirtieth day of June, 2020.

 

Children's Services Act; Special Education Programs HB 1346 (Thomas) and SB 205 (Stuart) would have expanded eligibility for services under the Children's Services Act to students who transfer from an approved private school special education program to a public school special education program established and funded jointly by a local governing body and school division located within Planning District 16 for the purpose of providing special education and related services when the public school special education program is able to provide services comparable to those of an approved private school special education program and the student would require placement in an approved private school special education program but for the availability of the public school special education program.

 

Class Size Limits HB 168 (Murphy) would have established a maximum class size of 24 students in chemistry classes in grades six through 12.  HB 1380 (Robinson) would have reduced from 35 to 29 the maximum class size in grades four through six.  

 

Commission on Educational Parity Established HB 711 (Adams) would have established the 19-member Commission on Educational Parity (the Commission), consisting of six members of the House Committee on Education, four members of the Senate Committee on Education and Health, four members of the Board of Education, and five non-legislative citizen members, including at least one member of a parent-teacher association and at least one teacher, for the purpose of ensuring that the General Assembly and the Board of Education collaborate in the fulfillment of their constitutional duty to provide a system of high quality public elementary and secondary schools in the Commonwealth.

 

Composite Index of Local Ability-to-Pay; Certain Counties HB 1576 (Peace) would have provided that if a county contains a school division composed of a town, the county's composite index shall be calculated as if the school division were not in the county.

 

Composite Index of Local Ability-to-Pay; Use Value of Real estate in Certain Localities HB 423 (Gooditis) would have required, for the purpose of determining the state and local shares of basic aid funding, that the composite index of local ability-to-pay utilize the use value of all applicable real estate devoted to agricultural use, horticultural use, forest use, and open-space use in each locality that has adopted an ordinance by which it provides for the use valuation and taxation of such real estate and used in agricultural and forestal production within an agricultural district, forestal district, agricultural and forestal district, or agricultural and forestal district of local significance in each locality that provides for the use valuation and taxation of such real estate, regardless of whether it has adopted a local land-use plan or local ordinance for such valuation and taxation.

 

Conditional Zoning Proffers; Affordable Dwelling Units HB 89 (Bell, J.J.) would have exempted onsite proffers related to affordable dwelling units from provisions that determine whether a proffer is unreasonable.

 

Cooperative Procurement of Professional Services; Construction; Solar Power Purchase Agreements SB 312 (Edwards) would have allowed contracting entities to contract for the provision of solar services in order to reduce energy cost.

 

Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity; Virginia Public Procurement Act; Definition of Small Business HB 725 (Plum) would have changed the requirements of the definition of small business for the purposes of programs of the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity and the Virginia Public Procurement Act to require the business, together with affiliates, to have 250 or fewer employees and average annual gross receipts of $10 million or less averaged over the previous three years.

 

Limited English Proficiency Staffing HB 13 (Kory) would have required state funding to support increasing from 17 to 20 full-time equivalent instructional positions for each 1,000 students identified as having limited English proficiency.

 

Mental Health Counselor Staffing Requirements HB 252 (Guzman) would have required each school board to employ at least one mental health counselor per 250 students in each high school in the local school division.

 

Menstrual Supplies; Certain School Buildings HB 1434 (Keam) would have required each school board to make tampons and pads available at all times and at no cost to students in the bathrooms of each facility that it owns, leases, or otherwise controls that houses a public school at which any student in grades six through 12 is enrolled.

 

Minimum Wage HB 39 (Levine) would have established a procedure by which a local alternative minimum wage could be imposed in any locality.  HB 518 (Simon) would have increased the minimum wage from its current federally mandated level of $7.25 per hour to $9 per hour effective July 1, 2018, to $10 per hour effective January 1, 2019, to $11 per hour effective January 1, 2020, to $13 per hour effective January 1, 2021, and to $15 per hour effective January 1, 2022, unless a higher minimum wage is required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). For 2023 and thereafter, the annual minimum wage shall be adjusted to reflect increases in the consumer price index. HB 715 (Plum) would have increased the minimum wage from its current federally mandated level of $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour effective January 1, 2019, unless a higher minimum wage were required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Effective January 1, 2021, the minimum wage would have been adjusted biennially to reflect annual increases in the consumer price index over the two most recent calendar years. SB 58 (Edwards) would have increased the minimum wage from its current federally mandated level of $7.25 per hour to $8.00 per hour effective July 1, 2018, to $9.00 per hour effective July 1, 2019, and to $10.10 per hour effective July 1, 2020, unless a higher minimum wage were required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Note that SB 58 incorporated provisions from SB 240 (Marsden) and SB 251 (Dance).

 

Payment of wages; Remedies; Penalties HB 259 (Habeeb) would have expanded the information an employer is required to provide to its employees when wages are paid to include the name and address of the employer, the number of hours worked during the pay period, and the rate of pay. The measure would have prohibited an employer from taking retaliatory action against an employee, and an employee who has been discharged or discriminated against may file a complaint with the Department of Labor and Industry and seek appropriate remedies.

 

Posting of Register of Funds Expended SB 751 (Sturtevant) would have required every locality with a population greater than 25,000 and each school division with greater than 5,000 students to post quarterly on the public government website of such locality or school division a register of all funds expended, showing vendor name, date of payment, amount, and a description of the type of expense, including credit card purchases with the same information. The bill would allow any locality or school division to exclude from such posting any information that is exempt from mandatory disclosure under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, any personal identifying information related to a court-ordered payment, and any information related to undercover law-enforcement officers. The bill would have had a delayed effective date of July 1, 2019.

 

Prevailing Wage; Public Works Contracts; Penalty HB 667 (Krizek) would have required contractors and subcontractors under any public contract with a state agency for public works to pay wages, salaries, benefits, and other remuneration to any mechanic, laborer, or worker employed, retained, or otherwise hired to perform services in connection with the public contract for public works at the prevailing wage rate. A contractor or subcontractor who knowingly or willfully would employ any mechanic, laborer, or worker to perform work contracted to be done under the public contract at a rate that is less than the prevailing wage rate would have been guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. In addition, such a contractor or subcontractor would have been liable to such individuals for the payment of all wages due plus interest and would have been disqualified from bidding on public contracts with any public body until full restitution had been paid to the individuals.

 

Prohibit Certain Local Government Practices That Would Require Contractors to Provide Certain Compensation or Benefits HB 375 (Davis) would have prohibited local governing bodies from establishing provisions related to procurement of goods, professional services, or construction that would require a wage floor or any other employee benefit or compensation above what is otherwise required by state or federal law to be provided by a contractor to one or more of the contractor's employees as part of a contract with the locality. Note that this legislation passed both House and Senate, but was vetoed by the Governor and the House sustained the veto.

 

Public Preschool Fund and Grant Program HB 255 (Guzman) would have established the Public Preschool Fund and Grant Program for the purpose of funding and providing on a competitive basis grants to local school boards to establish and maintain public preschool programs for children who reside in the local school division and who will have reached their fourth birthday on or before September 30 of the relevant school year.

 

Public-Private Transportation Act of 1995; Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002; Affected Local Jurisdictions and Public Entities; Consideration of Economic Impact HB 1070 (Heretick) would have required a private entity requesting approval to develop and operate a qualifying transportation facility under the Public-Private Transportation Act of 1995 or a qualifying project under the Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002 to include an economic impact analysis identifying any potentially adverse economic or revenue impacts that a potential comprehensive agreement may have on all affected local jurisdictions. The bill would have further required that affected local jurisdictions be given reasonable opportunity to consult with the parties concerning the nature and scope of the impacts and regarding measures that may be taken to avoid or mitigate the impacts or make the agreement revenue-neutral. The bill would have directed each responsible public entity to certify compliance with the review of the economic impact analysis provisions.

 

Public Procurement; Agreements with Labor Organizations HB 8 (Krizek) would have repealed provisions requiring state agencies to ensure that neither the state agency nor any construction manager acting on behalf of the state agency, in its bid specifications, project agreements, or other controlling documents relating to the operation, erection, construction, alteration, improvement, maintenance, or repair of any public facility of public works, require or prohibit bidders, offerors, contractors, or subcontractors to enter into or adhere to agreements with one or more labor organizations, on the same or related projects, or discriminate against bidders, offerors, contractors, subcontractors, or operators for becoming or refusing to become or remain signatories or otherwise to adhere to agreements with one or more labor organizations, on the same or related public works projects.

 

Public Procurement; Construction Management and Transportation Construction Services HB 1271 (Sickles) would have authorized state public bodies and public institutions of higher education to enter into contracts for construction on a construction management basis and without following certain statutory procedures when the estimated cost is expected to be greater than $40 million. The bill would have also increased from $10 million to $40 million the threshold of expected actual construction costs above which local public bodies may contract for construction on a construction management basis.

 

Public School Capital Grant Program Established HB 1431 (Bell, R.P.) would have required the Virginia Public Building Authority to establish and administer the Public School Capital Grant Program (the Program) for the purpose of providing grants on a competitive basis to any local school board that governs a local school division in a locality that is determined to have high fiscal stress by the Virginia Commission on Local Government in its most recent "Report on the Comparative Revenue Capacity, Revenue Effort, and Fiscal Stress of Virginia Counties and Cities" for such school board to use for school building capital renovation or construction projects. The bill would have capped each Program grant at $10 million and required local matching funds for each such grant.

 

Qualified Instructional Positions and Support Services Positions; Additional Funding HB 1508 (Adams) would have declared it to be the policy of the Commonwealth that school boards that are unable to fund the total amount required by the locality's composite index of local ability to pay to reach the prevailing funded salary for qualified instructional positions funded under the Standards of Quality, as set out in Direct Aid to Public Education in the general appropriation act, and support services positions shall receive, to the extent practicable, state funds for qualified instructional positions and support services positions in addition to those state funds that the school board receives for public school purposes.

 

School Meals; Practices HB 1477 (Roem) would have established several requirements relating to school meals, including requiring each school board to require each public elementary and secondary school in the local school division to participate in the federal National School Lunch Program and the federal School Breakfast Program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and to make meals available pursuant to such programs to any student who requests such a meal, regardless of such student's family income or whether such student has the money to pay for the meal or owes money for meals previously provided, unless the student's parent has provided written permission to the school board to withhold such a meal from the student, and  adopt policies prohibiting any school employee from requiring a student to throw away a meal after the meal has been served because the student does not have the money to pay for the meal or owes money for a meal previously provided and requiring a student who does not have the money to pay for a meal or who owes money for a meal previously provided to do chores or other work to pay for the meal.

 

School Nurses; Staffing Standards HB 791 (Pogge) would have would have required local school boards 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. HB 1046 (Torian) would have required 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 AND at least one full-time equivalent school nurse position per 550 students in grades kindergarten through 12. HB 1254 (Thomas) would have required 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 AND at least one full-time equivalent school nurse position per 1,000 students in grades kindergarten through 12. 

 

Special Education Aides; Caseload HB 253 (Guzman) would have provided that the maximum caseload for each full-time special education aide is five students.

 

Standards of Quality Funding; Apportionment of State and Local Share HB 305 (Watts) would have directed the General Assembly, in apportioning the state and local share of the costs of meeting the Standards of Quality, beginning July 1, 2018, to implement a formula that determines each locality's ability to pay based on the ratios of the reimbursement payment made to the locality for providing tangible personal property tax relief to the reimbursement payments made statewide for providing tangible personal property tax relief; the total value of real estate in the locality adjusted by the average of the cost of competing index if used for instructional personnel and for support positions to the statewide value of real estate per person; the local one percent sales tax revenue collected by the locality to the statewide total local sales tax revenue collected; the assessed value of the personal property taxed by the locality to the statewide assessed value of the local personal property tax; and revenue collected from local lodging, local cigarette, and local meals taxes to the revenue collected statewide from such local lodging, cigarette, and meals taxes.

 

Student Discipline; Alternative Education Programs HB 688 (McQuinn) would have required local school boards to provide alternative education programs for suspended students.

 

Study; JLARC; Administration of the Children's Services Act; Report HJ 29 (Bell, R.P.) would have directed the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) to conduct a comprehensive review of the Children's Services Act (§ 2.2-5200 et seq.), including its administration, structure, funding sources, and covered services. The resolution would have directed JLARC to make recommendations for improvement in these areas and to ensure the future success of the Children's Services Act.

 

Standards of Quality Funding, JLARC Study of the Costs of Education HJ 70 (Bloxom), HJ 115 (LaRock), HJ 126 (Carroll Foy), SJ 29 (Spruill) and SJ 56 (Sturtevant) would have directed the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study the true cost of education in the Commonwealth and provide an accurate assessment of the costs to implement the Standards of Quality. 

 

Standards of Quality Funding, Secretary of Education Study HJ 112 (Rodman) would have requested that the Secretary of Education study the requirements for the full funding of the Standards of Quality by establishing a work group consisting of interested stakeholders to review the current methods and formulae that the General Assembly utilizes to fund the Standards of Quality, with a particular focus on any adjustments or additional funding required to provide free public education to low-income students, students who receive special education, and English language learners.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Architectural and Professional Engineering Term Contracts HB 647 (Bell, J.J.) would have increased from $500,000 to $750,000 the maximum total amount of all construction projects that may be performed in a one-year contract term of a contract for architectural or professional engineering services relating to multiple construction projects.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Bid Match Preference for Virginia Businesses HB 193 (Bell, R.P.) would have provided a bid match preference for Virginia businesses. Under the bill, for contracts of $5,000 or more, a Virginia business would have had an opportunity to match the lowest bid of an out-of-state bidder if the bid of a Virginia business is within five percent of the lowest bid of an out-of-state bidder.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Competitive Negotiation for Professional Services HB 98 (Bell, J.J.) and SB 188 (Favola) would have provided that for competitive negotiation for professional services, a public body may conduct negotiations simultaneously with the top two ranked offerors if the public body does not request or discuss nonbinding estimates of total project costs at the discussion stage and as long as such process is set forth in the Request for Proposal.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Competitive Sealed Bidding HB 657 (Davis) would have required bidders to submit two bids for any procurement that will receive less than 25 percent of its funding from the federal government. One bid would have had to include costs that account for wages required under the Davis-Bacon Act, 40 U.S.C. §§ 276a-276a-5, as amended, and the other bid would have had to include costs that account for wages as customarily paid by the bidder.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Cooperative Procurement; Construction HB 921 (Lopez) would have allowed public bodies to utilize cooperative procurement for public utility and infrastructure projects and the demolition of buildings, where the expected cost is less than $500,000.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Definitions; Responsible Bidder or Offeror HB 257 (Hope) would have clarified the definition of "responsible bidder" or "offeror" in the procurement act to provide that a determination of whether a bidder or offeror is responsible shall include a consideration of the bidder's or offeror's previous experience.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; High-Risk Contracts; Report HB 608 (Carr) would have required the Department of General Services (DGS), the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA), and the Office of the Attorney General, as appropriate, to review contract solicitations and contracts for any public contract for goods, services, insurance, or construction that meets the definition of high-risk contract provided in the bill. Employees designated as primary administrators of high-risk contracts would have been required to complete a training program on effective contract administration created by DGS and VITA pursuant to requirements of the bill prior to commencing high-risk contract administration duties.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Preference for Businesses Participating in Virginia Registered Apprenticeship Program HB 306 (Watts) would have authorized a public body to give preference to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder who is a resident of Virginia, who participates in the Virginia Registered Apprenticeship program administered by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry, and whose bid is within three percent of the lowest bid price. SB 650 (McPike) would have authorized a locality to develop and implement a bidding system that gives preference to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder who is a resident of Virginia and participates in the Virginia Registered Apprenticeship program administered by the Department of Labor and Industry.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Prompt Payment; Payment Date HB 724 (Plum) would have amended the prompt payment provisions of the Virginia Public Procurement Act by changing the definition of "payment date" from 30 days to 15 days after receipt of a proper invoice by the state agency, where a contract does not specify the payment date.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Request for Proposals; Publication HB 851 (Ingram) would have removed the requirement of newspaper publication of Requests for Proposals for professional services.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Small Business and Microbusiness Procurement Enhancement Program HB 726 (Plum) and HB 1407 (Ward) would have codified the Governor's Executive Order 20 (2014) establishing a statewide small business and microbusiness procurement enhancement program. The bill would have established a statewide goal of 42 percent of small and microbusiness utilization in all discretionary spending by state agencies in procurement orders, prime contracts, and subcontracts. In addition, the bill would have provided for a set-aside for competition among all small businesses for state agency purchases up to $100,000 for goods and nonprofessional services and up to $50,000 for professional services and a set-aside for competition among microbusinesses for purchases under $10,000.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Statute of Limitations on Actions on Construction Contracts; Statute of Limitations on Actions on Performance Bonds HB 1084 (Yancey) would have provided that unless otherwise specified in the contract, no action may be brought by a public body on any construction contract unless such action is brought within five years after completion of the contract, including the expiration of all warranties and guarantees. The bill would have also limited the time frame during which a public body, other than the Department of Transportation, may bring an action against a surety on a performance bond to within five years after completion of the contract, including the expiration of all warranties and guarantees.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Use of Best Value Contracting HB 473 (Reid) would have authorized the use of best value contracting by all public bodies. The bill would have set forth the requirements for any procurement process that uses best value concepts.

 

Wage or Salary History Inquiries Prohibited; Civil Penalty HB 240 (Rasoul) would have prohibited a prospective employer from requiring as a condition of employment that a prospective employee provide or disclose the prospective employee's wage or salary history or attempting to obtain the wage or salary history of a prospective employee from the prospective employee's current or former employers. Violations would have been subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $100 per violation.

 

 

INSTRUCTION & STANDARDS OF LEARNING – APPROVED

 

Career and Technical Education Credentials; Testing Accommodations for English Language Learners HB 442 (Carroll Foy) requires the Department of Education to develop, maintain, and make available to each local school board a catalogue of the testing accommodations available to English language learners for each certification, examination, assessment, and battery that satisfies the career and technical education credential graduation requirement. The bill requires each local school board to develop and implement policies to require each high school principal or his designee to notify each English language learner of the availability of such testing accommodations prior to the student's participation in any such certification, examination, assessment, or battery. The bill has a delayed effective date of July 1, 2019.

 

Career and Technical Education; Diplomas HB 1530 (Davis) requires the Board of Education to make recommendations to the Governor and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Education and Health no later than November 1, 2018, relating to strategies for eliminating any stigma associated with high school career and technical education pathways and the choice of high school students to pursue coursework and other educational opportunities in career and technical education and related fields such as computer science and robotics and the consolidation of the standard and advanced diplomas into a single diploma and the creation of multiple endorsements for such diploma to recognize student competencies and achievements in specific subject matter areas.

 

Career Investigation Courses and Programs of Instruction HB 632 (Bulova) requires the Board of Education (Board) to establish content standards and curriculum guidelines for courses in career investigation; develop, in consultation with certain stakeholders, resource materials that are designed to ensure that students have the ability to further explore interest in career and technical education opportunities in middle and high school; and disseminate such career investigation resource materials to each school board. The bill directs each school board to require each middle school student to take at least one course or alternative program of instruction in career investigation.

 

Child Care Providers; Criminal History Background Check; Repeal Sunset HB 873 (Orrock) and SB 121 (Wexton) extend from July 1, 2018, to July 1, 2020, the expiration date and contingency on the requirement that the following individuals undergo fingerprint-based national criminal history background checks: (i) applicants for employment by, employees of, applicants to serve as volunteers with, and volunteers with any licensed family day system, child day center exempt from licensure pursuant to § 63.2-1716, registered family day home, or family day home approved by a family day system; (ii) applicants for licensure as a family day system, registration as a family day home, or approval as a family day home by a family day system, as well as agents of such applicants and any adult living in such family day home; and (iii) individuals who apply for or enter into a contract with the Department of Social Services under which a child day center, family day home, or child day program will provide child care services funded by the Child Care and Development Block Grant of 2014, as well as the applicant's current or prospective employees and volunteers, agents, and any adult living in the child day center or family day home. Note that a similar bill, HB 1128 (Filler-Corn), failed.

 

Child Day Programs; Exemptions from Licensure HB 1017 (Toscano) and SB 682 (Deeds) exempt from licensure any child day program that is offered by a local school division, staffed by local school division employees, and attended by preschool-age children or children who are enrolled in public school within such school division. The bill provides that such programs shall be subject to safety and supervisory standards established by the local school board.

 

Child Day Programs at Public School Facilities; Exemptions HB 836 (Bagby) prohibits the Board of Social Services from adopting regulations governing child day programs located at public school facilities that require inspection or approval of the building, vehicles used to transport children attending the child day program that are owned by the school, or meals served to such children that are prepared by the school.

 

Diploma Seals; Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics HB 167 (Miyares) requires the Board of Education to establish criteria for awarding a diploma seal for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for the Board of Education-approved diplomas.

 

Driver Education Courses; Instructor Qualifications SB 359 (McClellan) provides that the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles (Commissioner) may, in lieu of the requirements established by the Department of Education for driver education instructor qualification, accept 20 years' service as a traffic enforcement officer with patrol experience with any local police department by a law-enforcement officer who (i) retired or resigned while in good standing from such department, (ii) was certified through a criminal justice training academy, and (iii) has been certified to teach driver training by the Department of Criminal Justice Services. Current law only allows the Commissioner to accept 20 years' service with the Department of State Police by a person who retired or resigned while in good standing from such department in lieu of such requirements for driver education instructor qualification.

 

Driver Education Programs; Parent/Student Driver Education Component SB 126 (Cosgrove) permits any school division outside Planning District 8, at the discretion of the local school board, to administer a parent/student driver education component as part of the driver education curriculum. Under both current law and the bill, such component is a requirement in Planning District 8 (Northern Virginia). The bill allows for school divisions outside Planning District 8 to administer such component in-person or online (note also that school divisions inside Planning District 8 would still be required to administer such component in person).

 

Dual Enrollment HB 3 (Landes) requires the State Board for Community Colleges and the Virginia Community College System to develop and implement, in coordination with the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia, the Department of Education, and the Virginia Association of School Superintendents, (i) a plan to achieve and maintain the same standards regarding quality, consistency, and level of evaluation and review for dual enrollment courses offered by local school divisions pursuant to § 23.1-907 as are required for all courses taught in the System and (ii) a process and criteria for determining whether any dual enrollment course offered in the Commonwealth that meets or exceeds such standards is transferable to a public institution of higher education as (a) a uniform certificate of general studies program or passport program course credit, (b) a general elective course credit, or (c) a course credit meeting other academic requirements of a public institution of higher education.  HB 919 (Jones) and SB 631 (Dunnavant) make several changes to the Virginia Community College System to ensure a standard quality of education at all comprehensive community colleges, and to ensure in the transfer of community college credit to four-year public institutions of higher education.  Included among those changes are a requirement that community colleges would be required to indicate whether dual enrollment courses offered at a local school division would be eligible for transfer. The Community College system is also required to maintain a database of all dual enrollment courses offered across the Commonwealth. The bill also requires the State Board for Community Colleges to establish quality standards for dual enrollment courses. The bill contains enactment clauses that would mandate that the State Board for Community Colleges develop an initial plan for standardization to be presented no later than September 1, 2018 and that the Virginia Community College System shall establish the one-semester Passport Program and one-year Uniform Certificate of General Studies Program as required by this act by July 1, 2020, and each associate-degree-granting public institution shall offer such programs by the 2020-2021 academic year..  Note that SB 631 incorporated provisions from SB 77 (Sturtevant) and SB 107 (Suetterlein).

 

Dual Language Programs and Positions HB 507 (Mullin) provides that the instructional programs for students with limited English proficiency implemented by each local school board may include dual language programs whereby such students receive instruction in English and in a second language and the additional full-time equivalent instructional positions for students identified as having limited English proficiency that are funded pursuant to the general appropriation act may include dual language teachers who provide instruction in English and in a second language.

 

Family Life Education Curricula SB 101 (McClellan) requires any high school family life education curriculum offered by a local school division to incorporate age-appropriate elements of effective and evidence-based programs on the consequences of nonconsensual sexual activity, conduct, or touching. The bill also permits any family life education curriculum offered by a local school division to incorporate age-appropriate elements of effective and evidence-based programs on the dangers and repercussions of using electronic means or social media to engage in sexually explicit communications or send or display sexually explicit images and the prevention, recognition, and awareness of child abduction, child abuse, child sexual exploitation, and child sexual abuse.  Note that this bill incorporated provisions from SB 425 (McClellan), SB 789 (Surovell) and SB 843 (Favola).

 

Family Life Education Curricula; Personal Privacy and Personal Boundaries HB 45 (Filler-Corn) requires any family life education curriculum offered in any elementary school, middle school, or high school to incorporate age-appropriate elements of effective and evidence-based programs on the importance of the personal privacy and personal boundaries of other individuals and tools for a student to use to ensure that he respects the personal privacy and personal boundaries of other individuals.

 

Health Instruction; Mental Health HB 1604 (Bell, R.B.) and SB 953 (Deeds) require health instruction to incorporate standards that recognize the multiple dimensions of health by including mental health and the relationship of physical and mental health so as to enhance student understanding, attitudes, and behavior that promote health, well-being, and human dignity. The bills also direct the Board of Education to review and update the health Standards of Learning for students in grades nine and 10 to include mental health.

 

Health Education; Prescription Drugs HB 1532 (Herring) permits the health education program required for each public elementary and secondary school student to include an age-appropriate program of instruction on the safe use of and risks of abuse of prescription drugs that is consistent with curriculum guidelines developed by the Board of Education and approved by the State Board of Health. The bill requires the Board of Education to consider the curriculum adopted by the School Board of the City of Virginia Beach regarding drugs and the opioid crisis in developing such curriculum guidelines.

 

High School Equivalency Programs; Eligibility HB 803 (O’Quinn) extends eligibility to participate in programs of preparation and instruction to take a high school equivalency examination approved by the Board of Education to individuals who are at least 16 years of age.

 

High School Graduation Requirements; Course Load HB 329 (Yancey) requires the Board of Education, in establishing high school graduation requirements, to permit students to exceed a full course load in order to participate in courses offered by an institution of higher education that lead to a degree, certificate, or credential at such institution.

 

High School Graduation Requirements; Substitution of Computer Coding Credit for Foreign Language Credit for English Learners HB 443 (Carroll Foy) requires the Board of Education, in establishing high school graduation requirements, to permit any English language learner who previously earned a sufficient score on an Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate foreign language examination, or on an SAT II Subject Test in a foreign language to substitute computer coding course credit for any foreign language course credit required to graduate, except in cases in which such foreign language course credit is required to earn an advanced diploma offered by a nationally recognized provider of college-level courses.

 

High School to Work Partnerships; Establishment; Exemptions HB 544 (Freitas) and SB 960 (Suetterlein) permit each local school board to (i) establish High School to Work Partnerships (Partnerships) between public high schools and local businesses to create opportunities for high school students to (a) participate in an apprenticeship, internship, or job shadow program in a variety of trades and skilled labor positions or (b) tour local businesses and meet with owners and employees or (ii) delegate the authority to establish Partnerships to the local school division's career and technical education administrator or his designee, in collaboration with the guidance counselor office of each public high school in the school division. The bill requires such local school boards to educate high school students about opportunities available through such Partnerships. The bill also requires the Board of Education, the Department of Labor and Industry, and the State Board for Community Colleges to identify Partnerships that may be eligible for exemptions from certain federal and state labor laws and regulations and establish procedures by which such exemptions may be obtained for such Partnerships.

 

Home Instruction of Children; Education Options HB 1370 (Pogge) clarifies that a parent who provides home instruction through a program of study or curriculum is required to provide his child with such program of study or curriculum to satisfy the requirements for the home instruction of such child.

 

Instructional Time (Recess) HB 1419 (Delaney) and SB 273 (Petersen) require local school boards to provide a minimum of 680 hours of instructional time to students in elementary school in the four academic disciplines of English, mathematics, science, and history and social science; or, for students in half-day kindergarten, a minimum of 375 hours of instructional time in the four academic disciplines of English, mathematics, science, and history and social science.  Local school boards will be allowed to include and the Board of Education be required to accept, for elementary school, unstructured recreational time that is intended to develop teamwork, social skills, and overall physical fitness in any calculation of total instructional time or teaching hours, provided that such unstructured recreational time does not exceed 15 percent of total instructional time or teaching hours.

 

Instruction in American Sign Language; Academic Credit; Foreign Language Requirements HB 84 (Bell, R.P.) requires any local school board that does not offer any elective course in American Sign Language to grant academic credit for successful completion of an American Sign Language course offered by a comprehensive community college or a multi-division online provider approved by the Board on the same basis as the successful completion of a foreign language course and count completion of any such American Sign Language course toward the fulfillment of any foreign language requirement for graduation.

 

Work-Based Learning Experiences for Students; Notification HB 399 (Keam) requires each school board to implement a plan to notify students and their parents of the availability of internships, externships, apprenticeships, credentialing programs, certification programs, licensure programs, and other work-based learning experiences.

 

Worker Retraining Tax Credit; Manufacturing Instruction for Students HB 129 (Yancey) modifies the existing worker retraining tax credit by allowing credit to manufacturers conducting a manufacturing orientation, instruction, and training program that is (i) provided to students in grades six through 12, (ii) coordinated with the local school division and certified as qualified for tax credit by the Virginia Economic Partnership Development Authority, and (iii) conducted either at a plant or facility used by the manufacturer or at a public middle or high school in Virginia. The credit would equal 35 percent of the manufacturer's direct costs in providing the program, not to exceed $2,000 for any year.  The bill also provides that the Department of Taxation (the Department) shall not issue more than $1 million in tax credits per year. Under current law, the Department is authorized to issue up to $2.5 million in credits each year.

 

 

INSTRUCTION & STANDARDS OF LEARNING – CONTINUED TO 2019

 

Division-Level Performance Assessments; Resource Guide HB 1320 (Habeeb) would require the Department of Education to develop and distribute to each local school division a resource guide on the local development and implementation of performance assessments that includes detailed recommendations for methods of ensuring the quality, validity, and reliability of such assessments, such as assurances, sampling, and auditing, and the alignment of such assessments with the desired student outcomes of critical thinking, creative thinking, collaboration, communication, and citizenship and a collection of division-level performance assessment exemplars.

 

Mathematics Intervention Services SB 713 (Dunnavant) would require local school divisions to identify students in grades 10, 11, and 12 who are at risk of graduating without the necessary skills to take college-level mathematics coursework, as demonstrated by their individual performance on a Standards of Learning assessment, the PreACT, PSAT/NMSQT, ACT, or SAT, the Virginia Placement Test, or any diagnostic test that has been approved by the Department and to provide mathematics intervention services to such students. The bill would require such intervention services to be aligned with the developmental math curriculum offered by the Virginia Community College System and provide that local school divisions may partner with a local comprehensive community college to provide such intervention services.

 

Standards of Achievement Career and Technical Education Committee; Established SB 936 (Wagner and Ruff)  would direct the Board of Education to establish the Standards of Achievement Career and Technical Education Committee (Committee) to make recommendations to the General Assembly and the Board of Education to facilitate the development of career and technical education Standards of Achievement, including accreditation standards, assessment testing, and course content and curriculum for participating schools, with a focus on rigorous standards and course content and curriculum that align workforce skills with industry-recognized standards; robust business and industry engagement and responsiveness to labor market needs; strategies to remove the stigma from career and technical education, including early exposure to career options and life skills; work-based learning and apprenticeships;  innovative high school models; and leveraging existing resources and programs in the Commonwealth.

 

 

INSTRUCTION & STANDARDS OF LEARNING – FAILED

 

Access to Electronic Textbooks and Adequate Connectivity SB 785 (Surovell) would have prohibited local school boards from requiring the use of any electronic textbook in any course in grades six through 12 unless the school board adopts a plan to ensure that by July 1, 2020, (i) each student enrolled in such course has access to a personal computing device capable of supporting such textbooks and (ii) the relevant school has adequate connectivity, which the bill defines as bandwidth of at least one hundred kilobits per second per enrolled student.

 

Aviation and Aerospace Certification of Teachers and Curriculum; Study SJ 40 (Cosgrove) would have established a 13-member joint committee of the Senate Committee on Education and Health and the House Committee on Education to study how Virginia can meet the future workforce development needs of the aviation and aerospace industries.

 

Bullying and Suicide Prevention Among LGBTQ and Other Youth; Study HJ 73 (Carr) would have requested that the Department of Education assess the effectiveness of current suicide prevention strategies and anti-bullying policies and codes of student conduct among school divisions; identify areas for improvement among such strategies, policies, and codes of conduct; determine the suicide rate of youth in the Commonwealth and identify the percentage of LGBTQ youth in such rate; and recommend strategies, policies, and programs that can be used to decrease and prevent bullying, harassment, discrimination, and intimidation of LGBTQ and other youth, and the rate of suicide resulting therefrom, in the Commonwealth's public schools.

 

Child Care; Quality Rating and Improvement System HB 924 (Lopez) would have directed the Board of Social Services to establish a Quality Rating and Improvement System for all child welfare agencies participating in the Virginia Preschool Initiative.

 

Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility for Educators in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools in the Commonwealth; Report HJ 117 (LaRock) would have requested the Board of Education to establish a code of ethics and professional responsibility for educators in public elementary and secondary schools in the Commonwealth that contains certain prohibitions relating to instructional content.

 

Commission on Civic Education; Sunset; Membership HB 1540 (Landes) would have extended the sunset provision of the Commission on Civic Education from July 1, 2019, to July 1, 2020. The bill also would have increased the Commission's membership from 15 to 19 by adding one member of the House of Delegates, one member of the Senate, and two nonlegislative citizen members.

 

Community Schools HB 121 (Rasoul) would have required the Department of Education to establish an interagency taskforce composed of state and local agencies and entities in the areas of early childhood development, health, social services, community engagement, family engagement, higher education, and workforce development for the purpose of developing a program for the establishment of community schools whereby public elementary and secondary schools serve as centers for the provision of such community programs and services to students and their families as may be necessary on the basis of the unique needs of the student population to be served.

 

Class Size Limits HB 168 (Murphy) would have established a maximum class size of 24 students in chemistry classes in grades six through 12.  HB 1380 (Robinson) would have reduced from 35 to 29 the maximum class size in grades four through six.  

 

Cyber Centers of Excellence HB 740 (McGuire) would have required the Department of Education to establish and appoint members to a task force for the purpose of establishing a program and standards for the designation of any public middle school or high school in the Commonwealth as a cyber center of excellence.

 

Delinquent Children; Issuance of Learner's Permits HB 612 (Habeeb) would have authorized a court to authorize the issuance of a learner's permit to a minor adjudicated delinquent of an offense that results in a denial of the minor's privilege to operate a motor vehicle. The bill would have provided that the court may impose additional restrictions on the minor's operation of a motor vehicle pursuant to a learner's permit.

 

Digital Citizenship, Internet Safety, and Media Literacy Advisory Council; Established HB 199 (Sullivan) would have required the Superintendent of Public Instruction to establish and appoint members to the Digital Citizenship, Internet Safety, and Media Literacy Advisory Council (Council), including at least one teacher, librarian, representative of a parent-teacher organization, school administrator, and individual with expertise in digital citizenship, Internet safety, and media literacy.

 

Driver Education Courses; Virtual Testing HB 1077 (Filler-Corn) and SB 889 (Marsden) would have authorized the Department of Motor Vehicles to allow licensed computer-based driver education providers to offer driver education tests virtually for computer-based driver education courses, provided that certain verification standards are met.

 

Driver Privilege Cards HB 1318 (Boysko) and SB 621 (Surovell) would have authorized the issuance of new driver privilege cards by the Department of Motor Vehicles to an individual who has reported income from Virginia sources on an individual tax return filed with the Commonwealth in the preceding 12 months and is not in violation of the insurance requirements of Article 8 (§ 46.2-705 et seq.) (Registration of Uninsured Motor Vehicles) of Chapter 6 of Title 46.2.

 

Dual Enrollment Agreements; Scope HB 542 (Freitas) would have required each agreement for postsecondary degree attainment between a local school board and a comprehensive community college to include a process by which high school students who reside in a school division that is governed by a school board that is not a party to such agreement may apply for enrollment in the dual enrollment courses offered pursuant to such agreement.  HB 1322 (Cole) would have required each dual enrollment agreement to permit students enrolled at the relevant high school and students enrolled at the relevant comprehensive community college to participate in any dual enrollment course on a space-available basis, regardless of whether such course is offered at the relevant high school or at the relevant comprehensive community college.

 

Dual Enrollment Course Credit HB 535 (Freitas) would have provided that credit received for the successful completion of any dual enrollment course offered pursuant to an agreement for postsecondary degree attainment between a comprehensive community college and a public high school shall satisfy degree requirements at each public institution of higher education.

 

Dual Enrollment Courses for Students Who Receive Home Instruction HB 497 (Bell, R.B.) would have required each school board to permit any student who receives home instruction and resides in the local school division to apply for enrollment as a part-time student of the local school division in any dual enrollment course offered pursuant to an agreement for postsecondary degree attainment at a public high school in the local school division or at the comprehensive community college. The bill would have specified that no such student shall be required to pay more in tuition or fees than the tuition or fees paid by public school students or the school division of residence on behalf of such students to enroll in such course.

 

Education Improvement Scholarships Tax Credits; Pre-Kindergarten Eligibility HB 1078 (Head) would have provided that, on and after June 30, 2018, eligibility for Education Improvement Scholarships shall be limited to children in nonpublic pre-kindergarten programs and those students who received scholarships for the 2017 school year and each year thereafter. Under current law, tax credits are awarded for donations to foundations that use the funds to award scholarships to certain students in grades K-12 who attend nonpublic schools. HB 1165 (Landes) and SB 172 (Stanley) would have expanded the Education Improvement Scholarships tax credits program by including, as eligible scholarship recipients, children enrolled in or attending nonpublic pre-kindergarten programs. Note that SB 172 had incorporated provisions from SB 553 (Dunnavant). 

 

Encouraging Certain State Agencies and Organizations to Help Businesses Employing Workers Under Age 18 HJ 40 (Yancey) would have expressed the sense of the General Assembly that the complicated regulatory hurdles associated with employing workers under the age of 18 make it difficult to get them the experience they need to be productive workers and that early outreach to students may help facilitate getting students on a career track earlier.

 

Experiential Learning and Workforce Development Opportunities in High-Demand Fields; Report HJ 17 (Filler-Corn) would have requested that the Standards of Learning Innovation Committee study experiential learning and workforce development opportunities for high school students in high-demand fields. The bill would have required the Standards of Learning Innovation Committee to reports its findings no later than the first day of the 2019 Regular Session of the General Assembly.

 

Family Life Education; Child Sexual Abuse HB 1223 (Rodman) would have required the Board of Education to include in its Standards of Learning for family life education standards for age-appropriate instruction in the prevention, recognition, and awareness of child abduction, child abuse, child sexual exploitation, and child sexual abuse. The bill would have required such standards to be taught in grades K through 12.

 

Family Life Education Programs; Student Participation HB 1168 (LaRock) would have prohibited any public elementary or secondary school student from participating in any family life education program without the prior written consent of his parent.

 

First Chance Trust Fund and Program, Created HB 837 (Bagby) would have created the First Chance Trust Fund and Program which would have awarded scholarships to attend a public institution of higher education in the Commonwealth to any student who attends a public high school that is located in a region of the Commonwealth that has a high school dropout rate, poverty rate, or incarceration rate that is higher than the relevant average rate in the Commonwealth; or which would have granted to any private, nonprofit social services organization that is located in a region of the Commonwealth that has a high school dropout rate, poverty rate, or incarceration rate that is higher than the relevant average rate in the Commonwealth.

 

Full-Day Kindergarten HB 109 (Delaney) would have required each local school board that does not offer a full-day kindergarten program for each kindergarten student in the school division to develop a plan to fund and phase in a full-day kindergarten program for each kindergarten student in the school division and submit the plan to the General Assembly in advance of the 2019 Regular Session of the General Assembly. HB 350 (Reid) would have required each local school board that does not offer a universal full-day kindergarten (FDK) program for each kindergarten student in the school division to develop and implement a plan to fund and phase in a universal FDK program for each kindergarten student in the school division and submit the plan to the General Assembly in advance of the 2019 Regular Session of the General Assembly.  SB 274 (Barker) would have increased from 540 hours to 990 hours the minimum instructional hours in a school year for students in kindergarten. The bill would have directed the Board of Education to promulgate regulations by July 1, 2020, establishing standards for accreditation that include a requirement that the standard school day for students in kindergarten average at least 5.5 instructional hours in order to qualify for full accreditation.

 

Governor's Schools; Enrollment SB 787 (Surovell) would have required any academic school Governor's School that has a focus on math, science, and technology and that has an overall enrollment of over 1,000 students to accept for enrollment a sufficient number of students eligible to receive free or reduced price meals such that the total of such students is at least 50 percent of the weighted average of the participating divisions' percentage of such students in the previous school year and at least five students but no more than 15 students from each middle school in each school division eligible to matriculate students to such Governor's school who have completed at least two full years at such middle school.

 

High School Apprenticeship Tax Credit HB 1575 (Bourne) and SB 937 (Sturtevant) would have created a tax credit for a business that hosts a junior or senior in a Richmond City high school as an apprentice for a semester during the 2018-2019 or 2019-2020 academic year. The business would receive a $2,500 credit per student, per semester. Participation in the program would be limited to 25 students.

 

High School Family Life Education Curricula; Law and Meaning of Consent HB 44 (Filler-Corn) would have required any high school family life education curriculum offered by a local school division to incorporate age-appropriate elements of effective and evidence-based programs on the law and meaning of consent, including instruction that increases student awareness of the fact that consent is required before sexual activity.

 

High School Graduation; Certificates of Program Completion HB 390 (Keam) would have required each student who has completed a course of study in accordance with the Standards of Quality and finishes his senior year in good academic standing to be awarded a certificate of program completion by the local school board if he is not eligible to receive a Board of Education-approved diploma.

 

High School Graduation Requirements; Substitution of Computer Coding Credit for Foreign Language Credit HB 576 (Davis) would have required 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, except in cases in which such foreign language course credit is required to earn an advanced diploma offered by a nationally recognized provider of college-level courses.

 

Homework Assignments; Internet Connection HB 694 (Poindexter) would have required each school board to establish a policy to prohibit any teacher in the school division from assigning to any student a homework assignment that requires the use of an Internet connection that is capable of transmitting information at a rate that is not less than 256 kilobits per second in at least one direction when such student lacks meaningful access to such an Internet connection.

 

Instructional Positions; Students Identified as Having Limited English Proficiency HB 13 (Kory) would have required state funding to be provided pursuant to the general appropriation act to support 20 full-time equivalent instructional positions for each 1,000 students identified as having limited English proficiency.

 

Family Life Education Curricula HB 159 (Rasoul) would have required each local school board to implement a comprehensive, sequential family life education curriculum in grades kindergarten through 12 that is consistent with the family life education Standards of Learning or curriculum guidelines developed by the Board of Education and remove from such standards and guidelines the requirement for instruction in the benefits, challenges, responsibilities, and value of marriage for men, women, children, and communities; abstinence education; the value of postponing sexual activity; and the benefits of adoption as a positive choice in the event of an unwanted pregnancy.

 

Online Courses and Virtual Programs SB 786 (Surovell) would have prohibited charging fees to any free or reduced price eligible student for any online course or virtual program required or offered by the school division, and would have required that any necessary equipment required to take the course be made available to the student.  These requirements would only have been applied to localities in Planning District 8 (which includes Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Loudoun, Prince William, Manassas, and Manassas Park).  HB 1579 (Kory) would have extended similar provisions statewide, and would have provided an exception for the high school graduation requirement to take a virtual course if such requirements are not met.

 

Public Preschool Fund and Grant Program HB 255 (Guzman) would have established the Public Preschool Fund and Grant Program for the purpose of funding and providing on a competitive basis grants to local school boards to establish and maintain public preschool programs for children who reside in the local school division and who will have reached their fourth birthday on or before September 30 of the relevant school year.

 

School Divisions of Innovation; Performance-Based Assessments HB 652 (Murphy), HB 1278 (LaRock), and SB 302 (Favola) would have provided that a local school board applying for its school division to be designated as a School Division of Innovation could apply to the Board of Education (Board) to replace certain Standards of Learning assessments with performance-based assessments. The bill would have required the Board to determine if the local school board has the capacity to administer and score performance-based assessments and provides criteria for such determination. Under the bills, any proposed performance-based assessment would have been required to be an adequate replacement of the relevant Standards of Learning assessment by requiring that students demonstrate the knowledge and skills required by the relevant Standards of Learning and one or more of critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, or citizenship. The standards of learning assessments eligible for replacement would have been Virginia Studies, Civics and Economics, elementary school science, and middle school science. The bills would have required the Board to promulgate any necessary regulations and to submit to the U.S. Department of Education any necessary amendments to its consolidated State plan. Note that SB 302 had incorporated provisions from SB 437 (Wexton)

 

School Readiness Tax Credits HB 700 (Delaney) would have established tax credits for five categories of expenditures related to school readiness: parents' child care expenses, child care providers' expenses, educational development expenses of child care facility directors and staff, expenses paid by a business to improve child care for its employees' children, and business's donations to child care resource and referral agencies.

 

Science Curriculum, Grade Six SB 401 (Lewis) would have directed the Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Education to update the "Window into a Green Virginia" curriculum developed by the Departments for sixth grade science to include a unit on the benefits, including the energy benefits, of recycling and reuse

 

Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) Programs; Grants HB 1111 (Tran) would have established the STEAM Education Fund for the purpose of awarding grants in amounts not to exceed $50,000 annually to any public elementary or secondary school in the Commonwealth at which at least 25 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch that provides an academic class, curriculum, or activity focused on a science, technology, engineering, arts, or mathematics (STEAM) discipline.

 

Standards of Learning Assessments; Administration; Testing Periods HB 537 (Freitas) would have required the Department of Education to make available to school divisions Standards of Learning assessments in advance of each school year; required each local school board to administer such assessments on the date during the first quarter of the school year that the local school board deems most appropriate to evaluate each student's knowledge, application of knowledge, critical thinking, and skills related to the Standard of Learning being assessed and on the date during the final quarter of the school year that the local school board deems most appropriate to evaluate each student's progress toward demonstrating the knowledge, application of knowledge, critical thinking, and skills related to the Standard of Learning being assessed; and would have permitted each local school board to administer such assessments on any other date that it deems appropriate.

 

School Staffing Requirements for Librarians SB 261 (Suetterlein) would have provided that a local school board required to employ two full-time librarians for any middle school or high school may meet such requirement by employing two full-time librarians, or one full-time librarian and one full-time media specialist or instructional resource teacher. The bill would also have provided that a local school board that is required to employ a full-time school-based clerical person for the library for any middle school or high school may meet such requirement by employing one full-time school-based clerical person for the library, for instruction, or for assessment or career planning, or by employing one full-time classroom instructional assistant.

 

Virginia Preschool Initiative; Enrollment HB 319 (Bourne) would have permitted any local school board to offer any slots in its Virginia Preschool Initiative program that remain unfilled by at-risk students after initial enrollment to students who reside in the school division and meet the age requirements but do not qualify as at-risk and to charge a fee for such enrollment.

 

Virginia Preschool Initiative; Universal Access; JLARC Study HJ 108 (Aird) would have directed the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study the amount of funds required to make preschool available to each four-year-old in the Commonwealth through the Virginia Preschool Initiative by projecting, on a school division-by-school division basis for the 2019–2020 school year, Virginia Preschool Initiative program enrollments, total four-year-old student populations, and the state and local funds required to expand access to such programs to each four-year-old based on the current allocation formula for determining the state and local share of funding.

 

Virtual Virginia; Availability HB 831 (Bagby) would have required the Virtual Virginia program, established by the Department of Education, to be made available to all public middle and high schools. The bill would have provided that such program may be made available to all public elementary schools. The bill would have also replaced the term "statewide electronic classroom" with "online learning program" to more accurately reflect the Virtual Virginia program.

 

Virtual Virginia; Enrollment HB 521 (Bell, R. B.) and HB 1504 (Cline) would have required enrollment in the Virtual Virginia online learning program during the school year to be open, on a space-available basis, to each public high school student in the Commonwealth and each high school student in the Commonwealth who receives home instruction.

 

Youth Employment Solutions Apprenticeship Program SB 660 (Wagner) would have directed the Department of Labor and Industry and the Department of Education to determine the feasibility of implementing a Youth Employment Solutions (YES) apprenticeship program.

 

 

INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY – APPROVED

 

Collection of Student Demographic Data SB 238 (DeSteph) prohibits local school boards from requiring a student or his parent to disclose information related to the student's race or ethnicity unless the student or his parent is given an option to designate "other" for the student's race or ethnicity or such disclosure is required by federal law.

 

Comprehensive Plan; Broadband Infrastructure HB 640 (Boysko) provides that a locality's comprehensive plan shall consider strategies to provide broadband infrastructure that is sufficient to meet the current and future needs of residents and businesses in the locality.

 

Data Collection and Dissemination; Governance SB 580 (Hanger) amends the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act (§ 2.2-3800 et seq.) to facilitate the sharing of data among agencies of the Commonwealth and between the Commonwealth and political subdivisions. The bill creates the position of Chief Data Officer of the Commonwealth (CDO), housed in the office of the Secretary of Administration, to (i) develop guidelines regarding data usage, storage, and privacy and (ii) coordinate and oversee data sharing in the Commonwealth to promote the usage of data in improving the delivery of services. The bill also creates a temporary Data Sharing and Analytics Advisory Committee (Advisory Committee) to advise the CDO in the initial establishment guidelines and best practices, and to make recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly regarding a permanent data governance structure.  The bill directs the CDO and the Advisory Committee to focus their initial efforts on developing a project for the sharing, analysis, and dissemination of data at a state, regional, and local level related to substance abuse, with a focus on opioid addiction, abuse, and overdose. Note that this bill incorporates provisions from SB 459 (Edwards), SB 719 (Dunnavant), SB 804 (Carrico), and SB 830 (Barker).

 

Freedom of Information Act, Access to Student Directory Information HB 1 (Wilt) specifies that student directory information may be disclosed in accordance with federal and state law and regulation, provided that the school has given notice to the parent or eligible student of (i) the types of information that the school has designated as directory information; (ii) the right of the parent or eligible student to refuse the designation of any or all of the types of information about the student as directory information, and (iii) the period of time within which the parent or eligible student must notify the school in writing that he does not want any or all of the types of information about the student designated as directory information. However, no school would be able to disclose the address, telephone number, or email address of a student pursuant to 34 C.F.R. § 99.31(a) (11) or the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.) unless the parent or eligible student has affirmatively consented in writing to such disclosure.  SB 512 (Suetterlein) prohibits the custodian of a scholastic record from releasing the address, phone number, or email address of a student in response to a Freedom of Information request without written consent. For any student who is (i) 18 years of age or older, (ii) under the age of 18 and emancipated, or (iii) attending an institution of higher education, written consent of the student shall be required. For any other student, written consent of the parent or legal guardian of such student shall be required.

 

Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act; Sharing and Dissemination of Data HB 1277 (Garrett) amends the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act (§ 2.2-3800 et seq.) to facilitate the sharing of data among agencies of the Commonwealth and between the Commonwealth and political subdivisions.

 

Virginia Information Technologies Agency; Additional Duties of CIO; Cybersecurity Review HB 1221 (Thomas) requires the Chief Information Officer of the Virginia Information Technologies Agency to conduct an annual comprehensive review of cybersecurity policies of every executive branch agency, with a particular focus on breaches in information technology that occurred in the reviewable year and any steps taken by agencies to strengthen cybersecurity measures, and issue a report of his findings to the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Committee on Finance, which shall not contain technical information deemed security sensitive or information that would expose security vulnerabilities.

 

Virginia Public Records Act; Records Retained in Electronic Medium HB 228 (Cole) provides that notwithstanding any provision of law requiring a public record to be retained in a tangible medium, an agency may retain any public record in an electronic medium, provided that the record remains accessible for the duration of its retention schedule and meets all other requirements of the Virginia Public Records Act (§ 42.1-76 et seq.). The bill provides that this provision shall not be deemed to affect any law governing the retention of exhibits received into evidence in a criminal case in any court.

 

 

INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY – FAILED

 

Access to Electronic Textbooks and Adequate Connectivity SB 785 (Surovell) would have prohibited local school boards from requiring the use of any electronic textbook in any course in grades six through 12 unless the school board adopts a plan to ensure that by July 1, 2020, (i) each student enrolled in such course has access to a personal computing device capable of supporting such textbooks and (ii) the relevant school has adequate connectivity, which the bill defines as bandwidth of at least one hundred kilobits per second per enrolled student.

 

Breach of Personal Information Notification; Unreasonable Delay HB 679 (Pogge) would have defined the term "unreasonable delay" as a period not to exceed 30 days for purposes of the disclosure requirements imposed upon a person or entity that owns or licenses computerized data that includes personal information when there is a security breach involving such information.

 

Broadband Availability and the Most Cost-Effective Means to Provide Broadband Coverage to the Greatest Number of People; Study HJ 106 (Gooditis) would have requested the Broadband Advisory Council to develop a system for rating communities that indicates where the most people can be served by increased broadband coverage for the least cost.

 

Broadband Internet Access HJ 100 (Toscano) would have recognized that broadband Internet is basic infrastructure, access to which is a critical necessity in the 21st century.

 

Cyber Centers of Excellence HB 740 (McGuire) would have required the Department of Education to establish and appoint members to a task force for the purpose of establishing a program and standards for the designation of any public middle school or high school in the Commonwealth as a cyber center of excellence.

 

Digital Citizenship, Internet Safety, and Media Literacy Advisory Council, Established HB 199 (Sullivan) would have required the Superintendent of Public Instruction to establish and appoint members to the Digital Citizenship, Internet Safety, and Media Literacy Advisory Council (Council), including at least one teacher, librarian, representative of a parent-teacher organization, school administrator, and individual with expertise in digital citizenship, Internet safety, and media literacy. The bill would have required the Council to develop and recommend to the Board of Education for adoption a model policy for local school boards that would enable such school boards to better support the digital citizenship, Internet safety, and media literacy of all students in the local school division; develop and recommend to the Board for adoption model instructional practices for the safe, ethical, and responsible use of media and technology by students in public elementary and secondary schools; and design and post on the Department of Education's website a page with links to successful instructional practices, curricula, and other teacher resources used in school divisions within and outside of the Commonwealth for the safe, ethical, and responsible use of media and technology by students.

 

Encouraging the Creation of a Consolidated Application for State and Federal Services and the Sharing of Data SJ 74 (Ebbin) would have encouraged the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, the Secretary of Education, and their associated state agencies to analyze the feasibility of developing and implementing a consolidated application for state and federal services administered by the Commonwealth and to explore opportunities to share data among state agencies regarding applicants for and recipients of such services.

 

Homework Assignments Requiring an Internet Connection HB 694 (Poindexter) would have required each school board to establish a policy to prohibit any teacher in the school division from assigning to any student a homework assignment that requires the use of an Internet connection that is capable of transmitting information at a rate that is not less than 256 kilobits per second in at least one direction when such student lacks meaningful access to such an Internet connection.

 

Online Courses and Virtual Programs SB 786 (Surovell) would have prohibited charging fees to any free or reduced price eligible student for any online course or virtual program required or offered by the school division, and would have required that any necessary equipment required to take the course be made available to the student.  These requirements would only have been applied to localities in Planning District 8 (which includes Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Loudoun, Prince William, Manassas, and Manassas Park).  HB 1579 (Kory) would have extended similar provisions statewide, and would have provided an exception for the high school graduation requirement to take a virtual course if such requirements are not met.

 

Reporting of Information Breaches by Localities; Study HJ 39 (Murphy) would have directed the Joint Commission on Technology and Science to evaluate and compare the various methods used by localities to report unauthorized breaches of personal information to the Office of the Attorney General and affected residents of the Commonwealth; identify one or more methods of reporting, such as through a central portal system, that promote the efficient and timely reporting of information breaches; and develop a list of best practices, processes, and resources that localities can use for cyber security remediation assistance and to report unauthorized information breaches.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Internet Access Service Contracting; Limitations; Internet Neutrality and Privacy SB 949 (Wexton) would have limited public procurement of Internet access services to service providers that meet certain requirements related to Internet neutrality and privacy.

 

Virtual Virginia; Availability HB 831 (Bagby) would have required the Virtual Virginia program, established by the Department of Education, to be made available to all public middle and high schools. The bill provided that such program be made available to all public elementary schools. The bill would have also replaced the term "statewide electronic classroom" with "online learning program" to more accurately reflect the Virtual Virginia program.

 

Virtual Virginia; Enrollment HB 521 (Bell, R. B.) and HB 1504 (Cline) would have required enrollment in the Virtual Virginia online learning program during the school year to be open, on a space-available basis, to each public high school student in the Commonwealth and each high school student in the Commonwealth who receives home instruction.

 

 

PERSONNEL – APPROVED

 

Autism Spectrum Disorders Training Program for School Bus Personnel SB 229 (Hanger) requires the Board of Education to establish a training program for school board employees who assist in the transportation of students on school buses, including individuals employed to operate school buses and school bus aides, on autism spectrum disorders, including the characteristics of autism spectrum disorders, strategies for interacting with students with autism spectrum disorders, and collaboration with other employees who assist in the transportation of students on school buses. The bill would require each school board employee who assists in the transportation of students with autism spectrum disorders on school buses to participate in such training program.

 

Background Checks; Department of State Police to Recommend Options to Expedite Process SB 716 (Chase) requests that the Department of State Police (the Department) identify, analyze, and recommend options to expedite and improve the efficiency of its process for performing requested background checks. The bill requires the Department to report its findings and recommendations to the Chairmen of the House Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions and the Senate Committee on Rehabilitation and Social Services by November 1, 2018.

 

Child Abuse and Neglect; Founded Reports Regarding Former School Employees HB 150 (Bulova) and SB 184 (Favola) require local departments of social services to notify the appropriate school board without delay if the subject of a founded complaint of child abuse or neglect was, at the time of the investigation or the conduct that led to the report, an employee of a school division located within the Commonwealth. 

 

Child Abuse and Neglect; Notice of Founded Reports to Superintendent of Public Instruction HB 389 (Keam) and SB 183 (Favola) require local departments of social services to notify the Superintendent of Public Instruction without delay when an individual holding a license issued by the Board of Education is the subject of a founded complaint of child abuse or neglect and if the founded complaint of child abuse or neglect is dismissed on appeal.

 

Child care providers; criminal history background check HB 873 (Orrock) and SB 121 (Wexton) extend from July 1, 2018, to July 1, 2020, the expiration date and contingency on the requirement that the following individuals undergo fingerprint-based national criminal history background checks: (i) applicants for employment by, employees of, applicants to serve as volunteers with, and volunteers with any licensed family day system, child day center exempt from licensure pursuant to § 63.2-1716, registered family day home, or family day home approved by a family day system; (ii) applicants for licensure as a family day system, registration as a family day home, or approval as a family day home by a family day system, as well as agents of such applicants and any adult living in such family day home; and (iii) individuals who apply for or enter into a contract with the Department of Social Services under which a child day center, family day home, or child day program will provide child care services funded by the Child Care and Development Block Grant of 2014, as well as the applicant's current or prospective employees and volunteers, agents, and any adult living in the child day center or family day home. Note that a similar bill, HB 1128 (Filler-Corn), failed.

 

Driver Education Courses; Instructor Qualifications SB 359 (McClellan) provides that the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles (Commissioner) may, in lieu of the requirements established by the Department of Education for driver education instructor qualification, accept 20 years' service as a traffic enforcement officer with patrol experience with any local police department by a law-enforcement officer who (i) retired or resigned while in good standing from such department, (ii) was certified through a criminal justice training academy, and (iii) has been certified to teach driver training by the Department of Criminal Justice Services. Current law only allows the Commissioner to accept 20 years' service with the Department of State Police by a person who retired or resigned while in good standing from such department in lieu of such requirements for driver education instructor qualification.

 

Dual Language Instruction Licensure Endorsement HB 1156 (Wilt) requires the Board of Education, in its regulations governing licensure, to provide for licensure of teachers with an endorsement in dual language instruction pre-kindergarten through grade six. The bill requires the Board, in establishing the requirements for such endorsement, to require, at minimum, coursework in dual language education; bilingual literacy development; methods of second language acquisition; theories of second language acquisition; instructional strategies for classroom management for the elementary classroom; and content-based curriculum, instruction, and assessment. The bill provides that (i) each teacher with such an endorsement is exempt from the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment requirement but is subject to the subject matter-specific professional teacher's assessment requirements and (ii) no teacher with such an endorsement is required to obtain an additional endorsement in early/primary education pre-kindergarten through grade three or elementary education pre-kindergarten through grade six in order to teach in pre-kindergarten through grade six.

 

Healthy School Workplaces HB 1044 (Torian) requires each school board to adopt policies to prohibit abusive work environments in the school division, provide for the appropriate discipline of any school board employee who contributes to an abusive work environment, and prohibit retaliation or reprisal against a school board employee who alleges an abusive work environment or assists in the investigation of an allegation of an abusive work environment.

 

Professional and Occupational Regulation; Authority to Suspend or Revoke Licenses, Certificates, Registrations, or Permits; Default or Delinquency of Education Loan or Scholarship HB 1114 (VanValkenburg) provides that the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, the Department of Health Professions, the Board of Accountancy, and the Board of Education shall not be authorized to suspend or revoke the license, certificate, registration, permit, or authority it has issued to any person who is in default or delinquent in the payment of a federal-guaranteed or state-guaranteed educational loan or work-conditional scholarship solely on the basis of such default or delinquency.

 

School Bus Operators; Required Training SB 557 (Hanger) and HB 810 (O’Quinn) require any school bus operator applicant who does not possess a commercial driver's license to receive (i) a minimum of 24 hours of classroom training and (ii) six hours of behind-the-wheel training on a school bus that contains no pupil passengers and requires any school bus operator applicant who possesses a commercial driver's license to receive (a) a minimum of four hours of classroom training and (b) three hours of behind-the-wheel training on a school bus that contains no pupil passengers. Current law leaves the setting of such hourly requirements to the Department of Education. Note that a similar bill to HB 810, HB 914 (Landes), failed.

School Boards; Employment of Certain Individuals HB 1000 (Gilbert) and SB 343 (Peake) permit any school board to employ an individual who, at the time of the individual's hiring, has been convicted of a felony, provided that such individual (i) was employed in good standing by a school board on or before December 17, 2015; (ii) has been granted a simple pardon for such offense by the Governor or other appropriate authority; and (iii) has had his civil rights restored by the Governor or other appropriate authority. The bill permits a school board to employ, until July 1, 2020, a person who does not satisfy the conditions set forth in clauses (ii) and (iii), provided that such person has been continuously employed by the school board from December 17, 2015, through July 1, 2018. Note that the bill was intended to address the decision of the Virginia Supreme Court in Butler v. Fairfax County School Board. Note also that SB 343 incorporated provisions from SB 928 (Obenshain).

 

Sexual Misconduct in Elementary and Secondary Schools HB 438 (Bulova) and SB 605 (Ebbin) require the Board of Education to adopt regulations to implement the provisions of federal law that prohibit any local school board or any individual who is an employee, contractor, or agent of a local school board from assisting an employee, contractor, or agent of such local school board in obtaining a new job if such local school board or individual knows or has probable cause to believe that the employee, contractor, or agent engaged in sexual misconduct regarding a minor or student in violation of law.

 

State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act; School Boards and School Board Employees HB 212 (Wright) and SB 124 (Black) allow any school district to invoke the current exemption from the prohibition against hiring, under certain circumstances, a school district employee who is related to a member of the school board. Note that this bill incorporated provisions from SB 301 (Favola), SB 345 (Peake), SB 763 (Peake), and SB 764 (Peake).

 

Teacher Licensure and Reciprocity HB 1125 (Landes) and SB 349 (Peake) make several changes to the teacher licensure process, including:

 

  • extending the renewable license from a five year license to a 10 year license;
  • allowing an individual who seeks a provisional teacher license to satisfy certain licensure requirements during the period of provisional licensure;
  • permitting the Board of Education to extend, for at least one additional year, but for no more than two additional years, the three-year provisional license of a teacher upon receiving from the division superintendent (a) a recommendation for such extension and (b) satisfactory performance evaluations for such teacher for each year of the original three-year provisional license;
  • permitting teachers with a valid out-of-state license, with full credentials and without deficiencies, to receive licensure by reciprocity without passing additional licensing assessments;
  • eliminating the requirements that teachers seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license (a) demonstrate proficiency in the use of educational technology for instruction and (b) receive professional development in instructional methods tailored to promote student academic progress and effective preparation for the Standards of Learning end-of-course and end-of-grade assessments;
  • permitting any division superintendent to apply to the Department of Education for a biennial waiver of the teacher licensure requirements for any individual whom the local school board hires or seeks to hire to teach in a trade and industrial education program and meets certain criteria; and,
  • specifying that for the purpose of Board of Education regulations for the approval of teacher education programs, the term "education preparation program" includes four-year bachelor's degree programs in teacher education.

 

In addition, the bills require the Board of Education to include in its regulations for teacher licensure an alternate route to licensure for elementary education pre K-6 and an alternate route to licensure for special education general curriculum K-12. Note that SB 349 incorporated provisions from a number of bills, including: SB 257 (Sutterlein), SB 409 (McDougle), SB 548 (Dunnavant), SB 549 (Dunnavant), SB 551 (Dunnavant), SB 558 (Dunnavant), SB 723 (Peake), and SB 863 (Sturtevant).

 

SB 76 (Favola) specifies that for the purpose of Board of Education regulations for the approval of teacher education programs, the term "education preparation program" includes four-year bachelor's degree programs in teacher education.  HB 2 (Bell, R.P.) and SB 103 (Suetterlein) require the Board of Education to provide for teacher licensure by reciprocity for any spouse of an active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States or the Commonwealth who has obtained a valid out-of-state license, with full credentials and without deficiencies, that is in force at the time the application for a Virginia license is received by the Department of Education. The bill would provide that no service requirements or licensing assessments shall be required for any such individual. HB 215 (Knight) declares eligible for a renewable one-year license to teach in public high schools in the Commonwealth any individual who has (i) received a graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education; (ii) completed at least 30 credit hours of teaching experience as an instructor at a regionally accredited institution of higher education; (iii) received qualifying scores on the professional teacher's assessments prescribed by the Board, including the communication and literacy assessment and the content-area assessment for the endorsement sought; and (iv) completed certain other licensure requirements. HB 80 (Krizek) requires the Board of Education, in its regulations providing for teacher licensure by reciprocity, to permit applicants to submit third-party employment verification forms.

 

 

PERSONNEL – CONTINUED TO 2019

 

Deemed Consent to Testing of Bodily Fluids HB 1033 (Price) would allow a magistrate or a general district court to issue an order requiring a person to provide a blood specimen for testing for human immunodeficiency virus or the hepatitis B or C virus when exposure to bodily fluids occurs between a person and any health care provider, person employed by or under the direction and control of a health care provider, law-enforcement officer, firefighter, emergency medical services personnel, person employed by a public safety agency, or school board employee and the person whose blood specimen is sought refuses to consent to providing such specimen. Currently, only the general district court may issue such order. The bill would allow a testing order to be issued based on a finding that there is probable cause to believe that exposure has occurred. Currently, there must be a finding by a preponderance of the evidence that exposure has occurred.

 

Teacher Licensing Process; Study and Report SJ 6 (Locke) would request to study the teacher licensure process and the assessment requirements therein for any inherent biases that may prevent minority teacher candidates from entering the profession.  Note that an identical bill, HJ 88 (Bagby), failed in the House.

 

 

PERSONNEL – FAILED

 

Career and Technical Education; Three-Year Licenses; Eligibility and Requirements HB 1127 (Landes) would have made changes to three-year career and technical education teacher licenses by removing the cap on licensee teaching hours and permitting licensees to teach up to full time, expanding eligibility for such licenses to any individual who has at least two years of experience as a teaching assistant in the school division in the specific career and technical education subject area in which the individual seeks to teach and meets all other applicable eligibility criteria, and increasing from one year to two years the period during which the employing school board is required to assign a mentor to supervise a licensee.

 

Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility for Educators in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools in the Commonwealth; Report HJ 117 (La Rock) would have requested the Board of Education to establish a code of ethics and professional responsibility for educators in public elementary and secondary schools in the Commonwealth that contains certain prohibitions relating to instructional content.

 

Child Abuse or Neglect; Extension of Hearings HB 196 (Bulova) and SB 182 (Favola) would have provided that a person who appeals a determination by a local department of social services related to child abuse or neglect to a hearing officer designated by the Commissioner of Social Services may request extensions of the hearing but that no extension causing the hearing to be delayed more than 90 days after the date on which the hearing was first scheduled to be held shall be granted absent a showing of compelling reasons to justify such extension.

 

Child Abuse; Study and Report of Laws and Policies Governing Investigation of; HJ 122 (Reid) would have directed the Virginia State Crime Commission to study the laws and policies governing the reporting, investigation, and tracking of cases of alleged child abuse in the Commonwealth. The study would have also requested that the Commission identify any advantages or disadvantages of requiring local police departments or the Virginia State Police to investigate every complaint of alleged child abuse and that the Commission make recommendations to increase the quality and effectiveness of child protective services and investigations into alleged cases of child abuse.

 

Class Size Limits HB 168 (Murphy) would have established a maximum class size of 24 students in chemistry classes in grades six through 12.  HB 1380 (Robinson) would have reduced from 35 to 29 the maximum class size in grades four through six.  

 

Department of Criminal Justice Services; Human Trafficking Training Standards HB 689 (McQuinn) would have required the Department of Criminal Justice Services to establish compulsory training standards for law-enforcement personnel involved in criminal investigations or assigned to vehicle or street patrol duties to ensure that law-enforcement personnel are sensitive to and aware of human trafficking offenses and the identification of victims of human trafficking offenses.

 

Disclosure of Employment-Related Information to Law-Enforcement Agency HB 1169 (LaRock) would have required an employer, upon request of a law-enforcement agency regarding a prospective or current employee of the agency and if the agency provides a written release signed by the employee, to furnish information about such employee's professional conduct, reasons for separation, and job performance, including information contained in any written performance evaluations, while in the employer's employ. The bill would also have provided immunity to an employer who furnishes such information regarding an employee in good faith.

 

Employees; Jury Duty HB 243 (Jones, J.C.) would have required employers, including the Commonwealth and localities, to provide to employees summoned to serve on jury duty the protections set forth in Title 18.2, Crimes and Offenses Generally. With certain exceptions, the employee would have been entitled to his usual compensation for periods he is excused, though the employer could have deducted from such compensation any payments the employee receives for the jury service. The measure would have created a private cause of action for an employee who is discharged, demoted, or suspended in violation of these provisions.

 

Employment; Break to Express Breast Milk HB 1376 (McQuinn) would have required employers, including the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions, to provide reasonable unpaid break time each day to an employee who needs to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child's birth. The bill would have required an employer to make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location in close proximity to the work area, other than a bathroom, where the employee can express breast milk in privacy. An employer would not have been held to have violated these requirements if it made reasonable efforts to comply with them. The measure would have applied to employees who are exempt under § 7 of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

 

Employee Communication Regarding Workplace Issues HB 254 (Guzman) would have required the Department of Human Resources Management to establish a system of regular communication between managing employees and non-supervisory employees who are members of employee associations, labor unions, or labor organizations for the purpose of discussing workplace issues, consistent with the provisions of Chapter 4 (Labor Union, Strikes, etc.) of Title 40.1 (Labor and Employment).

 

Grow Your Own Teacher Program Fund and Programs; Established HB 380 (Krizek) would have established the Grow Your Own Teacher Program Fund and permitted the Department of Education to award grants from such fund to local school boards to establish Grow Your Own Teacher Programs whereby the local school board could provide scholarships not to exceed $7,500 per academic year for attendance at a baccalaureate institution of higher education in the Commonwealth to any individual who graduated from a public high school in the local school division; was eligible for free or reduced price lunch throughout the individual's attendance at a public high school in the local school division; and would commit to teach, within three years of graduating from the baccalaureate institution of higher education in the Commonwealth and for a period of at least four years, in the school division at a public high school at which at least 50 percent of students qualify for free or reduced price lunch.

 

High School Staffing; Mental Health Counselors HB 252 (Guzman) would have require each school board to employ at least one mental health counselor per 250 students in each high school in the local school division.

 

Immunity of Employers; Employees and Independent Contractors Convicted of a Nonviolent Offense; Negligent Hiring HB 70 (Webert) would have provided that no cause of action for negligent hiring against an employer shall arise solely because such employer hired an employee or independent contractor convicted of a nonviolent offense.

 

Immunity of Employers and Potential Employers; Reports of Violent Behavior HB 1457 (Harris) would have provided civil immunity to an employer who makes a report to a potential employer or law-enforcement agency of violent or threatened violent behavior, as defined in the bill, by an employee or former employee, provided that such a report was made in good faith and with reasonable cause to make such report.

 

Individual Income Tax; Subtraction for Employer Payment of Qualified Education Loans HB 200 (Ayala) would have established an individual income tax subtraction, beginning in taxable year 2018, for an unincorporated employer's contribution to the repayment of an employee's education loan. The bill would have provided that the maximum deduction per year shall be $5,250.

 

Limiting Employees' Sharing of Wage Information Prohibited; Civil Penalty HB 626 (Ayala) would have prohibited an employer from requiring, as a condition of employment, that an employee refrain from inquiring about, discussing, or disclosing information about the employee's own wages or about any other employee's wages. The measure would have also prohibited an employer from taking retaliatory action against an employee for sharing such information. Violations would have been subject to a civil penalty of $100.

 

Local Employee Grievance Procedure HB 1471 (Hugo) would have required that the final step in an employee grievance procedure adopted by a local governing body, providing for a hearing before an administrative hearing officer or an impartial panel hearing, be selected by the aggrieved employee. The bill would have also permitted a school board to conduct a teacher grievance hearing before a three-member fact-finding panel.

 

Meal Breaks for Employees; Civil Penalty HB 463 (Carter) would have required employers to provide employees with unpaid break times for meals. Employers that violate this measure would have been subject to a civil penalty.

 

Minimum Wage HB 39 (Levine) would have established a procedure by which a local alternative minimum wage could be imposed in any locality.  HB 518 (Simon) would have increased the minimum wage from its current federally mandated level of $7.25 per hour to $9 per hour effective July 1, 2018, to $10 per hour effective January 1, 2019, to $11 per hour effective January 1, 2020, to $13 per hour effective January 1, 2021, and to $15 per hour effective January 1, 2022, unless a higher minimum wage is required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). For 2023 and thereafter, the annual minimum wage shall be adjusted to reflect increases in the consumer price index. HB 715 (Plum) would have increased the minimum wage from its current federally mandated level of $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour effective January 1, 2019, unless a higher minimum wage were required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Effective January 1, 2021, the minimum wage would have been adjusted biennially to reflect annual increases in the consumer price index over the two most recent calendar years. SB 58 (Edwards) would have increased the minimum wage from its current federally mandated level of $7.25 per hour to $8.00 per hour effective July 1, 2018, to $9.00 per hour effective July 1, 2019, and to $10.10 per hour effective July 1, 2020, unless a higher minimum wage were required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Note that SB 58 incorporated provisions from SB 240 (Marsden) and SB 251 (Dance).

 

Model Exit Questionnaire for Teachers; Statewide Implementation HB 420 (Turpin) would have required each local school board to administer the model exit questionnaire for teachers developed by the Superintendent of Public Instruction to each teacher who ceases to be employed in the school division for any reason and to collect, maintain, and report on the results of each such questionnaire in a manner that ensures the confidentiality of each teacher's name and other personally identifying information.

 

Nondiscrimination in Public Employment SB 202 (Ebbin) would have prohibited discrimination in public employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, as defined in the bill. The bill would also have codified for state and local government employment the current prohibitions on discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, or status as a veteran.

 

Overtime Compensation; Penalties HB 1109 (Tran) would have required an employer to compensate its employees who are entitled to overtime compensation under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act at a rate not less than one and one-half times the employee's regular rate of pay for any hours worked in excess of 40 hours in any one workweek and not less than twice the employee's regular rate of pay for any hours worked in excess of 12 hours in one workday and any hours worked on the seventh day of work in any workweek to the extent that the hours worked on such day exceed 40 hours worked in such week. The sanctions for an employer's failure to pay such overtime wages, including civil and criminal penalties, would have been the same as currently provided for failing to pay wages generally.

 

Payment of Wages; Remedies; Penalties HB 259 (Habeeb) would have expanded the information an employer is required to provide to its employees when wages are paid to include the name and address of the employer, the number of hours worked during the pay period, and the rate of pay. The measure would have prohibited an employer from taking retaliatory action against an employee, and an employee who has been discharged or discriminated against could have filed a complaint with the Department of Labor and Industry and could have sought appropriate remedies.

 

Prohibited Discrimination; Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity HB 401 (Krizek) would have prohibited discrimination in employment, public accommodation, public contracting, apprenticeship programs, housing, banking, and insurance on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill would have codified existing prohibited discrimination in public employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, or status as a veteran and added discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity to the list of unlawful discriminatory housing practices.

 

Provisional Teacher Licensure; Grace Period HB 334 (Ward) would have allowed an individual who seeks a provisional teacher license to satisfy certain licensure requirements, such as demonstrating proficiency in the use of educational technology for instruction and completing study in child abuse recognition and intervention, during the first year of provisional licensure.

 

Public Employment; Inquiries by State Agencies and Localities Regarding Criminal Convictions, Charges, and Arrests HB 600 (Carr), HB 1357 (Aird), and SB 252 (Dance) would have prohibited state agencies from including on any employment application a question inquiring whether the prospective employee has ever been arrested or charged with, or convicted of, any crime, subject to certain exceptions. The prohibition would not have applied to applications for employment with law-enforcement agencies or certain positions designated as sensitive or in instances where a state agency is expressly permitted to inquire into an individual's criminal history for employment purposes pursuant to any provision of federal or state law. The bill would also have authorized localities to prohibit such inquiries.

 

Public Procurement; Agreements With Labor Organizations HB 8 (Krizek) would have repealed provisions requiring state agencies to ensure that neither the state agency nor any construction manager acting on behalf of the state agency, in its bid specifications, project agreements, or other controlling documents relating to the operation, erection, construction, alteration, improvement, maintenance, or repair of any public facility of public works, requires or prohibits bidders, offerors, contractors, or subcontractors to enter into or adhere to agreements with one or more labor organizations, on the same or related projects, or discriminates against bidders, offerors, contractors, subcontractors, or operators for becoming or refusing to become or remain signatories or otherwise to adhere to agreements with one or more labor organizations, on the same or related public works projects.

 

School Staffing Requirements for Librarians SB 261 (Suetterlein) would have provided that a local school board required to employ two full-time librarians for any middle school or high school may meet such requirement by employing two full-time librarians, or one full-time librarian and one full-time media specialist or instructional resource teacher. The bill would also have provided that a local school board that is required to employ a full-time school-based clerical person for the library for any middle school or high school may meet such requirement by employing one full-time school-based clerical person for the library, for instruction, or for assessment or career planning, or by employing one full-time classroom instructional assistant.

 

School Climate Survey HB 1119 (VanValkenburg) and SB 456 (McClellan) would have required the Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop and make available annually to each public elementary and secondary school teacher in the Commonwealth a voluntary and anonymous school climate survey to evaluate school-level teaching conditions and the impact such conditions have on teacher retention and student achievement.

 

Sexual Harassment Training HB 653 (Murphy) would have required every employer with 15 or more employees who are located at a workplace within the Commonwealth to conduct a sexual harassment education and training program for all new employees within one year of commencement of employment. The training shall encompass the illegality of sexual harassment; the definition of sexual harassment under state and federal laws and federal regulations; a description of sexual harassment, utilizing examples; the employer's sexual harassment complaint process available to the employee; legal recourse and complaint processes; and protections against retaliation.

 

Special Education Aides; Caseload HB 253 (Guzman) would have provided that the maximum caseload for each full-time special education aide would have been five students.

 

Teaching Profession in Virginia; Study and Report HJ 56 (Turpin) would have directed the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) to study the teaching profession in Virginia.

 

Substitute Teachers; Duration of Teaching Period HB 388 (Boysko) and SB 190 (Favola) would have permitted temporarily employed teachers to substitute for a contracted teacher for a temporary period not to exceed 125 teaching days during the contracted teacher's absence.

 

Teacher Expenses Tax Credit HB 624 (Ayla) would have established a tax credit, for taxable years 2019 through 2023, of up to $250 for qualifying individuals, defined in the bill as any individual who is a teacher, instructor, counselor, principal, or aide for at least 900 hours during the school year, who paid for classroom materials used in teaching students in kindergarten or an elementary or secondary school, provided that such expenses had not been reimbursed and had not been claimed as a deduction on the qualifying individual's federal tax return.

 

Teacher Grievance Procedures; HB 90 (Bell, J.J.) would have permitted a school board to conduct a teacher grievance hearing before a three-member fact-finding panel consisting of one member selected by the teacher, one member selected by the division superintendent, and an impartial hearing officer, selected by the other two panel members, to serve as the chairman of the panel. The bill would have also removed the requirement that a teacher grievance hearing be set within 15 days of the request for such hearing and extended from five days to 10 days the minimum period of advanced written notice to the teacher of the time and place of such hearing. HB 1161 (Simon) would have permitted a school board to conduct a teacher grievance hearing before a three-member fact-finding panel consisting of one member selected by the teacher, one member selected by the division superintendent, and a third impartial member selected by the other two panel members.  HB 1577 (Kory) would have specified that a teacher may be placed on probation for incompetency, immorality, noncompliance with school laws and regulations, disability as shown by competent medical evidence when in compliance with federal law, conviction of a felony or a crime of moral turpitude, or other good and just cause. The bill would have replaced the current condition constituting incompetency, for the purposes of teacher employment, of one or more unsatisfactory performance evaluations with the condition of more than one unsatisfactory performance evaluation or one unsatisfactory performance evaluation coupled with a finding by the division superintendent that the teacher exhibited a pattern of poor performance or failed to respond to efforts to improve his performance. The bill would have extended from 10 business days to 15 business days the deadline for a teacher to request a hearing after receiving written notice of a recommendation of dismissal. The bill would have also staggered by 10 days the opportunity for a teacher recommended for dismissal to inspect and copy his personnel file and all other documents relied upon in reaching the decision to recommend dismissal and the opportunity for the division superintendent to inspect and copy the documents to be offered in rebuttal to the decision to recommend dismissal. The bill would have also extended from 15 business days to 30 business days the deadline for the school board or hearing officer to set a hearing after a request for a hearing by a teacher recommended for dismissal.

 

Teacher Licensure by Reciprocity; Grace Period HB 318 (Ward) would have permitted teachers with a valid out-of-state license, with full credentials and without deficiencies, to teach in a public elementary or secondary school in the Commonwealth for up to one school year prior to applying for licensure by reciprocity.

 

Teacher Licensure; Prerequisites HB 320 (Ward) would have eliminated the requirements that teachers seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license demonstrate proficiency in the use of educational technology for instruction and receive professional development in instructional methods tailored to promote student academic progress and effective preparation for the Standards of Learning end-of-course and end-of-grade assessments.

 

Teacher Licensure; Trade and Industrial Waiver and Career and Technical License HB 1416 (Edmunds) would have extended the term of the waiver of the teacher licensure requirements that a division superintendent may apply to the Board of Education for any individual whom the local school board hires or seeks to hire to teach in a trade and industrial education program and removes the requirement that such individual has at least 4,000 hours of recent and relevant employment experience. The bill would have also removed requirements that an individual seeking a three-year career and technical license has at least four years of full-time work experience or its equivalent in the specific career and technical education subject area in which the individual seeks to teach and has obtained qualifying scores on the communication and literacy professional teacher's assessment prescribed by the Board.

 

Three-Year Provisional Licenses; Extensions HB 317 (Ward) would have permitted the Board of Education to extend, for up to two additional years, the three-year provisional license of any teacher who requires additional time to satisfy the requirements for a renewable license.

 

Training, Suicidal Students HJ 138 (Roem) would have requested each school board in the Commonwealth to provide resources or training to all full-time and part-time school board employees on the identification of students who are suicidal.

 

Virginia Public Procurement Act; Local Labor Use Requirement for Certain Construction Contracts; Civil Penalty SB 241 (Marsden) would have added to the Virginia Public Procurement Act (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.) the requirement that every public body, when engaged in procuring contracts for construction with a projected cost in excess of $500,000 paid for in whole by state or local funds, include in its specifications a requirement that at least 75 percent of the employees employed by contractors and subcontractors for the construction project be from the local labor market.


Wage or Salary History Inquiries Prohibited; Civil Penalty HB 240 (Rasoul) would have prohibited a prospective employer from requiring as a condition of employment that a prospective employee provide or disclose the prospective employee's wage or salary history or attempting to obtain the wage or salary history of a prospective employee from the prospective employee's current or former employers. Violations would have been subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $100 per violation.

 

 

RETIREMENT & INSURANCE – APPROVED

 

Group Accident and Sickness Insurance; Eligibility for Continuation of Coverage HB 1368 (Jones) disqualifies a discharged employee from continuation of health insurance coverage under his former employer's group policy if the employee was discharged as a result of gross misconduct. The provision does not apply if the employer is required to provide for continuation of coverage under its group health plan pursuant to the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985.

 

Health Insurance; Copayments for Prescription Drugs; Disclosures HB 1177 (Pillion) and SB 933 (Saslaw) provide that no provider contract between a health carrier or its pharmacy benefits manager and a pharmacy or its contracting agent shall contain a provision authorizing the carrier or its pharmacy benefits manager to charge, requiring the pharmacy or pharmacist to collect, or requiring an enrollee to make, a copayment for a covered prescription drug in an amount that exceeds the least of the applicable copayment for the prescription drug that would be payable in the absence of this section; or the cash price the enrollee would pay for the prescription drug if the enrollee purchased the prescription drug without using the enrollee's health plan. The measure requires provider contracts between a health carrier or its pharmacy benefits manager and a pharmacy or its contracting agent to contain specific provisions that allow a pharmacy to disclose to an enrollee information relating to the provisions of this section and the availability of a more affordable therapeutically equivalent prescription drug; sell a more affordable therapeutically equivalent prescription drug to an enrollee if one is available; offer and provide direct and limited delivery services to an enrollee as an ancillary service of the pharmacy. The measure applies to provider contracts entered into, amended, extended, or renewed on or after January 1, 2019.

 

Virginia Retirement System; Technical Amendments HB 846 (Ingram) and SB 248 (Dance) make technical amendments to Title 51.1, Pensions, Benefits, and Retirement, including clarifying that medical boards may be composed of not only physicians but also other health care professionals and that the only federal civilian service eligible to be purchased as membership credit is full-time service. 

 

Workers' Compensation; Employer's Liability for Medical Services Provided Outside of the Commonwealth HB 558 (Habeeb) clarifies that the "medical community," when referring to providers of medical services rendered under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act outside of the Commonwealth, shall be determined by the zip code of the principal place of business of the employer if located in the Commonwealth. If the employer's principal place of business is not in the Commonwealth, then it shall be determined by the zip code of the location where the Workers' Compensation Commission would conduct its hearing regarding a dispute concerning the medical services.

 

Workers' Compensation; Proof of Coverage Information HB 531 (Habeeb) removes the provision that prevents the Workers' Compensation Commission from aggregating proof of coverage information filed with the Commission by an insurance carrier or rate service organization on behalf of an employer with the proof of coverage information filed by or on behalf of other employers.

 

Workers' Compensation; Uninsured Employer's Fund; Financing Tax HB 82 (Habeeb) repeals an enactment clause that provides that the maximum tax rate that may be assessed on insurance carriers or self-insured employers for the purpose of funding workers' compensation benefits that are awarded against uninsured employers from the Uninsured Employer's Fund will revert from 0.5 percent to 0.25 percent on July 1, 2018. Repealing the enactment will maintain the maximum rate at its current level of 0.5 percent.

 

 

RETIREMENT & INSURANCE – CONTINUED TO 2019

 

Health Insurance; Coverage for Contraceptives SB 907 (McClellan) would require health carriers to provide coverage, under any health insurance policy, contract, or plan that includes coverage for prescription drugs on an outpatient basis, for any prescribed contraceptive drug or contraceptive device and would prohibit a health carrier from imposing upon any person receiving contraceptive benefits pursuant to the provisions of the measure any copayment, coinsurance payment, or fee. The measure would apply to health insurance contracts, policies, or plans delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed on and after January 1, 2019.

 

Workers' Compensation; Presumption of Compensability for Certain Diseases SB 352 (Peake) and SB 642 (McPike) would add colon cancer to the list of cancers that are presumed to be an occupational disease covered by the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act when firefighters and certain employees develop the cancer and would remove the compensability requirement that the employee who develops cancer had contact with a toxic substance encountered in the line of duty. 

 

 

RETIREMENT & INSURANCE – FAILED

 

Expedited External Review of Adverse Health Insurance Coverage Decisions; Cancer Treatments HB 435 (Yancey) would have provided that if an independent review organization conducting an expedited external review fails to make a decision to uphold or reverse a health insurer's adverse determination or final adverse determination regarding coverage for treatment of cancer of the covered person within 72 hours after receiving an eligible request for an expedited external review, the organization shall be deemed to have reversed the adverse determination or final adverse determination denying coverage for the cancer treatment.

 

Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program HB 40 (Levine) would have entitled individuals to a family and medical leave insurance (FMLI) benefit payment for each month they are engaged in qualified caregiving, not to exceed 60 qualified caregiving days per year. HB 973 (Guzman) would have required employers with 15 or more full-time employees to give to each such employee 40 hours of paid medical and family leave per year. The bill would have required an employer to pay the employee for leave taken, up to the balance of the employee's paid leave balance, for a purpose for which the employee would be entitled to unpaid leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. The measure would not have required employers to compensate employees for unused medical and family leave upon termination of employment. The measure would have required the Commissioner of Labor and Industry to administer and enforce these requirements and to investigate alleged violations of these requirements. The measure would have authorized the Commissioner to impose a civil penalty of not more than $1,000 for a violation.  SB 736 (Favola) would have established a program under which certain employees of employers with 50 or more employees would be eligible for paid family leave for days they take leave from work to provide qualified caregiving, which is defined in the bill as an activity for a reason for which an employee would be entitled to leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. The amount of qualified caregiving days for which an eligible employee may receive paid family leave benefits would have been capped at 30 days in any year.

 

Health Insurance; Coverage for Alternative Pain Management Prescription Drugs HB 131 (Bell, J.J.) would have required health insurers, health maintenance organizations, and corporations providing health care coverage subscription contracts, whose policy, contract, or plan includes coverage for prescription drugs, to provide coverage for alternative pain management prescription drugs that are prescribed to a covered individual with an opioid dependence disorder.

 

Health Insurance; Coverage for Autism Spectrum Disorder HB 1113 (Roem) would have required health insurers, health care subscription plans, and health maintenance organizations -including policies, contracts, or plans issued in the individual or small group markets -  to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder in individuals of any age. HB 1311 (Collins) and SB 593 (Vogel) would have required health insurers, health care subscription plans, and health maintenance organizations to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder in individuals of any age. The provision would have applied with respect to insurance policies, subscription contracts, and health care plans delivered, issued for delivery, reissued, or extended on or after January 1, 2019.  HB 1369 (Plum) would have required health insurers, health care subscription plans, and health maintenance organizations to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder in individuals of any age, effective January 1, 2018.

 

Health Insurance; Coverage for Proton Radiation Therapy; Report HB 111 (Yancey) would have directed the Bureau of Insurance to conduct an analysis of issues related to health insurers' approvals for cancer treatment involving use of proton radiation therapy.  HB 332 (Yancey) would have required the state employee health insurance plan to include coverage for proton therapy.   HB 434 (Yancey) would have required any health insurer, corporation, or health maintenance organization issuing an insurance policy, subscription contract, or health care plan to provide coverage for physician-prescribed proton therapy for the treatment of breast, prostate cancer, or other indications under a hypofractionated protocol as part of a clinical trial or registry.

 

Health Insurance; Coverage for Limited Drug Refills HB 185 (Hayes) would have required health benefit plans to cover a limited refill for up to a five days' supply of a Schedule VI drug that is dispensed by a pharmacist for a covered person whose dispensed drugs are lost, destroyed, or otherwise rendered unusable as a consequence of a natural or man-made disaster that displaces the person from his residence.

 

Health Insurance Credits for Retired School division employees HB 66 (McQuinn) would have required school divisions to provide a health insurance credit of $4 per year of service to all retired members of local school divisions with at least 15 years of total creditable service. An enactment clause would have provided that this measure would not have applied to any local school division employee who retired on disability prior to July 1, 2018, if this measure would reduce the monthly credit currently payable to such former member.

 

Health Insurance for State and Local Government Employees HB 331 (Yancey) would have required that the health insurance plan for state and local government employees contain a reference-based pricing component whereby a fixed maximum amount is paid for certain frequently performed nonemergency medical tests, procedures, and surgeries for which prices vary substantially and the quality of outcomes generally do not correlate with price.

 

Health Insurance; Nondiscrimination; Gender Identity or Transgender Status HB 1466 (Rodman) would have prohibited a health carrier from denying or limiting coverage or imposing additional cost sharing or other limitations or restrictions on coverage under a health benefit plan for health care services that are ordinarily or exclusively available to covered individuals of one sex to a transgender individual based on the fact that the individual's sex assigned at birth, gender identity, or gender otherwise recorded is different from the one to which such health services are ordinarily or exclusively available.

 

Health Insurance; Step Therapy Protocols HB 386 (Davis) would have required carriers issuing health benefit plans to utilize certain clinical review criteria to establish step therapy protocols.

 

Parental Leave Benefits, State Employees HB 994 (Byron) would have required the Department of Human Resource Management (the Department) to implement and administer 12 weeks of paid parental leave benefits for a state employee who becomes the parent of a child either by adoption or by birth of a child.

 

Reproductive Health Services HB 21 (Kory) would have required health benefit plans to cover the costs of specified health care services, drugs, devices, products, and procedures related to reproductive health, including well-woman preventive visits; counseling for sexually transmitted infections; screening for certain conditions; folic acid supplements; breastfeeding support, counseling, and supplies; breast cancer chemoprevention counseling; contraceptive drugs, devices, or products; voluntary sterilization; and any additional preventive services for women that must be covered without cost sharing under federal law as of January 1, 2017.

 

Unemployment Compensation; Overtime Compensation HB 1391 (Head) would have excluded from the definition of wages any part of the individual's remuneration paid as overtime compensation required by § 207 of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The exclusion would have applied only for purposes of computing the weekly benefit amount based on an individual's earned wages for insured work subsequent to December 31, 2018.

 

Use Sick Leave for the Care of Immediate Family Members SB 41 (Favola) would have required employers with a sick leave program to allow an employee to use his sick leave for the care of an immediate family member. The measure would have applied only to employers that have 25 or more employees and that provide paid sick leave that allows an employee to be absent from work in the event of the employee's own incapacity, illness, or injury. The measure would have applied only to employees who work for at least 30 hours per week, and it would have capped the amount of sick leave that may be used for the care of immediate family members at five days per calendar year.

 

Virginia Retirement System; Health Insurance Credits for Retired State Employees HB 863 (Ingram) and SB 321 (Ruff) would have increased annually the amount of the health insurance credit for retirees who rendered at least 30 years of creditable service in the Virginia Retirement System. The bill would have increased the credit by the same percentage as any annual post-retirement supplement that is calculated for employees hired on or after July 1, 2010.

 

Workers' Compensation; Audits HB 416 (Guzman) would have prohibited an insurer or its agent or employee from conducting an audit, inspection, or other review at the insured employer's premises unless accompanied by and under the supervision of an employee of the Workers' Compensation Commission, or unless the employer consents.

 

Workers' Compensation; Employer to Notify Employee of Intent HB 461 (Carter) would have required an employer whose employee has filed a claim under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act to advise the employee whether the employer intends to accept or deny the claim. If the employer would have been unable to make such a determination because it lacks sufficient information from the employee, the employer would have been required to state and identify the needed additional information.

 

Workers' Compensation; Presumption of Compensability for Certain Diseases HB 472 (Reid) and HB 1245 (Hugo) would have added cancers of the colon, brain, or testes to the list of cancers that are presumed to be an occupational disease covered by the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act when firefighters and certain employees develop the cancer. The measure would have removed the compensability requirement that the employee who develops cancer had contact with a toxic substance encountered in the line of duty.

Workers' Compensation; Retaliatory Discharge of Employee HB 460 (Carter) would have prohibited an employer or other person from discharging an employee if the discharge is motivated to any extent by knowledge or belief that the employee has filed a claim or taken or intends to take certain other actions under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act.

 

 

SCHOOL BOARD GOVERNANCE – APPROVED

 

Administrative Process Act; Guidance Documents HB 297 (Bulova) exempts guidance documents, defined in the bill, from the requirements of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.), provided that the agency that developed the guidance document certifies that the document conforms to the definition of a guidance document. Each guidance document would then be subject to a 30-day public comment period through the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall website, after publication in the Virginia Register of Regulations and prior to final publication by the agency. If a comment were received during the public comment period asserts that the guidance document is contrary to state law or regulation or that it should not be exempt, the adoption of the guidance document shall be delayed an additional 30 days, during which time the agency shall address the comments and provide a response in writing. The bill also provides that guidance documents do not include agency rulings and advisory opinions, forms and instructions, bulletins and legislative summaries, studies and reports, and internal manuals and memoranda.  Note that the legislation includes an effective date of January 1, 2019.

 

Collection of Student Demographic Data SB 238 (DeSteph) prohibits local school boards from requiring a student or his parent to disclose information related to the student's race or ethnicity unless the student or his parent is given an option to designate "other" for the student's race or ethnicity or such disclosure is required by federal law.

 

Commemorating the 50th anniversary of Green v. County School Board of New Kent County HJ 37 (Mc Quinn) and SJ 81 (Dance) commend the 50th anniversary of Green v County School Board of New Kent County. Note that this resolution also incorporates HJ 137 (Peace).

 

Commending Resolutions:

 

  • HJ 50 (Keam) commends the James Madison High School softball team
  • HJ 79 (Murphy) commends the Langley High School volleyball team
  • HJ 185 (Hugo) commends the Westfield High School football team
  • HJ 238 (Delaney) commends the Westfield High School field hockey team
  • HJ 300 (Keam) commends the James Madison High School band
  • HJ 354 (Sullivan) commends the McLean High School band
  • HJ 355 (Sullivan) commends the McLean High School boys' tennis team
  • HJ 356 (Sullivan) commends the McLean High School Highlander marching band
  • HJ 357 (Sullivan) commends The Highlander
  • HJ 359 (Sullivan) commends the Longfellow Middle School Rubik’s Cube team
  • HJ 360 (Sullivan) commends the Longfellow Middle School Science Olympiad team
  • HJ 363 (Keam) commends the James Madison High School girls’ swim and dive team
  • HJ 389 (Plum) commends the Pantry at South Lakes High School
  • HJ 431 (Filler-Corn) commends the W.T. Woodson High School boys' basketball team
  • HJ 461 (Filler-Corn) commends the Lake Braddock Secondary School band

 

  • SJ 66 (Petersen) commends the W. T. Woodson High School boys’ basketball team
  • SJ 67 (Petersen) commends the Westfield High School field hockey team
  • SJ 125 (Petersen) commends the Westfield High School football team

 

 

County Manager Plan of Government; Popular Election of School Board HB 231 (Hope) clarifies that in a county with the county manager plan of government (Arlington County), the county may have an elected school board notwithstanding the default method of school board appointment as set out in the Code.

 

Division Superintendents; Timeline for Appointment HB 81 (Krizek) requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction, upon the request of a school board, to grant such school board up to an additional 180 days to appoint a new division superintendent. 

 

Ethics Laws; Study and Report SJ 75 (Norment) establishes a two-year joint subcommittee consisting of six legislative members and two nonlegislative citizen members to study the current ethics laws in the Commonwealth. In conducting its study, the joint subcommittee shall study the disclosure requirements of the members of the General Assembly and lobbyists and identify those portions of the ethics laws that should be repealed, substantially amended, rewritten for clarity, or retained in their present form. In its review, the joint subcommittee shall examine the effectiveness and efficiency of the ethics laws in promoting public trust and confidence in the service of public officials.

 

Military Student Enrollment Policies HB 1085 (Yancey) requires school boards to establish policies to provide for the enrollment of students living on a military base or in military housing to any school within the school division upon space availability. In developing such policies, school boards can include any condition enumerated in the current statute governing open enrollment or "any other condition deemed appropriate by the local school board." 

 

School Boards; Employment of Certain Individuals HB 1000 (Gilbert) and SB 343 (Peake) permit any school board to employ an individual who, at the time of the individual's hiring, has been convicted of a felony, provided that such individual (i) was employed in good standing by a school board on or before December 17, 2015; (ii) has been granted a simple pardon for such offense by the Governor or other appropriate authority; and (iii) has had his civil rights restored by the Governor or other appropriate authority. The bill permits a school board to employ, until July 1, 2020, a person who does not satisfy the conditions set forth in clauses (ii) and (iii), provided that such person has been continuously employed by the school board from December 17, 2015, through July 1, 2018. Note that the bill was intended to address the decision of the Virginia Supreme Court in Butler v. Fairfax County School Board. Note also that SB 343 incorporated provisions from SB 928 (Obenshain).

 

School Board of the City of Norfolk; Salaries of Appointed Members HB 779 (Heretick) and SB 361 (Spruill) eliminate the cap on the annual salary that the school board of the City of Norfolk may pay its appointed members. Beginning July 1, 2018, all members of the school board of City of Norfolk will be elected members. Salaries of elected school board members are subject to the same limitations as members of local governing bodies.

 

State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act; School Boards and School Board Employees HB 212 (Wright) and SB 124 (Black) allow any school district to invoke the current exemption from the prohibition against hiring, under certain circumstances, a school district employee who is related to a member of the school board. Note that this bill incorporated provisions from SB 301 (Favola), SB 345 (Peake), SB 763 (Peake), and SB 764 (Peake).

 

Virginia Freedom of Information Act, Access to Student Directory Information HB 1 (Wilt) specifies that student directory information may be disclosed in accordance with federal and state law and regulation, provided that the school has given notice to the parent or eligible student of (i) the types of information that the school has designated as directory information; (ii) the right of the parent or eligible student to refuse the designation of any or all of the types of information about the student as directory information, and (iii) the period of time within which the parent or eligible student must notify the school in writing that he does not want any or all of the types of information about the student designated as directory information. However, no school will be able to disclose the address, telephone number, or email address of a student pursuant to 34 C.F.R. § 99.31(a) (11) or the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.) unless the parent or eligible student has affirmatively consented in writing to such disclosure.  SB 512 (Suetterlein) prohibits the custodian of a scholastic record from releasing the address, phone number, or email address of a student in response to a Freedom of Information request without written consent. For any student who is (i) 18 years of age or older, (ii) under the age of 18 and emancipated, or (iii) attending an institution of higher education, written consent of the student shall be required. For any other student, written consent of the parent or legal guardian of such student shall be required.

 

Virginia Freedom of Information Act; Definition of Electronic Communication HB 906 (Robinson) clarifies the definition of electronic communication in the Virginia Freedom of Information Act by amending it to mean the use of technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic, or similar capabilities to transmit or receive information. This bill was a recommendation of the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council.

 

Virginia Freedom of Information Act; Meetings Held by Electronic Communication Means HB 907 (Robinson) consolidates existing provisions concerning public meetings conducted by electronic communication means. HB 908 (Robinson) removes the Freedom of Information Act requirement that the remote locations from which members of a public body participate in meetings through electronic communication means be open to the public. Instead, members of the public must be provided an electronic communication means substantially equivalent to that provided to members of the public body through which the public may witness the meeting. The bill provides that public access to remote locations from which members of the public body participate through electronic communication means shall be encouraged, but not required; however, if three or more members are gathered at the same remote location, such remote location must be open to the public. The bill also amends the annual reporting requirements for public bodies that meet by electronic communication means.

 

Virginia Public Records Act; Records Retained in Electronic Medium HB 228 (Cole) provides that notwithstanding any provision of law requiring a public record to be retained in a tangible medium, an agency may retain any public record in an electronic medium, provided that the record remains accessible for the duration of its retention schedule and meets all other requirements of the Virginia Public Records Act (§ 42.1-76 et seq.). The bill provides that this provision shall not be deemed to affect any law governing the retention of exhibits received into evidence in a criminal case in any court.

 

 

SCHOOL BOARD GOVERNANCE – CONTINUED TO 2019

 

Deposition of Local Governing Body SB 613 (Surovell) would provide that when a local governing body is named as a deponent, it shall designate one or more members of such body to serve as a deponent on its behalf. The bill would provide that such designee and his testimony shall be subject to all of the same duties, responsibilities, and consequences as a corporate or organizational deponent as determined by the rules of court.

 

Future of Public Elementary and Secondary Education in the Commonwealth; Report HJ 19 (Bell, R.P.) would continue for one additional year the Joint Committee of the House Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Education and Health to Study the Future of Public Elementary and Secondary Education in the Commonwealth, consisting of seven members of the House Committee on Education and six members of the Senate. Note that bills with similar provisions, including HB 1176 (Landes), SB 738 (Newman), and SJ 62 (Newman), failed.

 

Regional Charter School Divisions SB 516 (Obenshain) would authorize the Board of Education (the Board) to establish regional charter school divisions consisting of at least two but not more than three existing school divisions in regions in which each underlying school division has an enrollment of more than 3,000 students and (one or more schools that have accreditation denied status for two out of the past three years. The bill would require such regional charter school divisions to be supervised by a school board that consists of eight members appointed by the Board and one member appointed by the localities of each of the underlying divisions.

 

School Calendar; Opening Day of the School Year HB 372 (Robinson) would make local school boards responsible for setting the school calendar and determining the opening day of the school year The bill would require local school boards that set the school calendar with a pre-Labor Day opening date, except those schools that were granted a "good cause" waiver for the 2017-2018 school year, to close all schools in the division from the Thursday immediately preceding Labor Day through Labor Day or the Friday immediately preceding Labor Day through the Tuesday immediately succeeding Labor Day.  Note that all other Labor Day related bills, including HB 36, HB 38, HB 354, HB 1020, SB 300, and SB 914, failed.

 

State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act; Disclosure by Local Government Officers and Employees SB 816 (Black) would provide that an officer or employee of local government who has a personal interest in a transaction but who is still eligible to participate in the transaction because he is a member of a business, profession, occupation, or group of three or more persons the members of which are affected by the transaction need only declare his interest in the transaction at the first meeting at which the transaction is discussed and at least one subsequent meeting thereafter.

 

 

SCHOOL BOARD GOVERNANCE – FAILED

 

Administrative Process Act; Development and Periodic Review of Regulations; Report HB 1192 (Cline) would have required all executive branch agencies to develop regulations in the least burdensome and intrusive manner possible and provides guiding principles for the development, adoption, and repeal of regulations. The bill would have also required each agency to establish a schedule for the review of all regulations for which the agency is the primary responsible agency. The schedule would have encompassed a 10-year period and provide for the annual review of at least 10 percent of an agency's regulations by July 1 of each year.

 

Biennial Appropriation Act SB 404 (McDougle) would have provided that the Commonwealth's biennial appropriations shall start on July 1 of odd-numbered years beginning with the biennial appropriation act for the period July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2023. The bill would have required that the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2020, would not be a part of any biennial appropriation act (i.e., it would be a single-year transitional budget).

 

Commission on Educational Parity HB 711 (Adams) would have stablished the 19-member Commission on Educational Parity (the Commission), consisting of six members of the House Committee on Education, four members of the Senate Committee on Education and Health, four members of the Board of Education, and five nonlegislative citizen members, including at least one member of a parent-teacher association and at least one teacher, for the purpose of ensuring that the General Assembly and the Board of Education collaborate in the fulfillment of their constitutional duty to provide a system of high quality public elementary and secondary schools in the Commonwealth.

 

Economic Impact Statements HB 1281 (LaRock) would have required the Department of Planning and Budget to prepare economic impact statements containing fiscal and regulatory analyses.

 

Equal Rights Amendment; United States Constitution HJ 2 (Kory) and HJ 129 (Robinson) SJ 4 (Surovell) would have ratified the Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution that was proposed by Congress in 1972.

 

Fiscal Impact Statements HB 785 (Keam) and HB 1200 (Cline) would have required the Department of Planning and Budget to prepare a fiscal impact statement for any bill, except the Budget Bill and debt bills, that increases or decreases the total revenue available for appropriation or that establishes a new state program or initiative requiring an appropriation. The fiscal impact statement would have included analysis of the fiscal impact estimates, impact on any state entity affected by the revenue increase or decrease or charged with administering the new program or initiative, and potential costs to citizens in terms of increased taxes.

 

Initiatives, Referendums, and Recalls; Constitutional Amendment (first resolution)  HJ 34 (Rasoul) would have provided that, notwithstanding the powers of the General Assembly, the people reserve to themselves the power to propose and enact laws and constitutional amendments by initiative, to reject legislative acts by referendum, and to remove certain elected officials by recall. The amendment would have also provided petition requirements and an approval process for having questions placed on the ballot.

 

Legislative Review of Administrative Rules; Constitutional Amendment SB 826 (Vogel) would have provided for a referendum at the November 6, 2018, election to approve or reject an amendment that would grant to the General Assembly the authority to review any administrative rule to ensure it is consistent with the legislative intent of the statute that the rule was written to interpret, prescribe, implement, or enforce.  SJ 69 (Vogel) would have initiated a constitutional amendment referendum to grant to the General Assembly the authority to review any administrative rule to ensure it is consistent with the legislative intent of the statute that the rule was written to interpret, prescribe, implement, or enforce.

 

Local School Boards; Prior Authorization for Legal Action SB 440 (Wexton) would have narrowed the restriction, to appointed school boards, that a local school board receive prior authorization from the local governing body prior to instituting any legal action or proceeding against any other governmental agency in Virginia.

 

Menstrual Supplies; Certain School Buildings HB 1434 (Keam) would have required each school board to make tampons and pads available at all times and at no cost to students in the bathrooms of each facility that it owns, leases, or otherwise controls that houses a public school at which any student in grades six through 12 is enrolled.

 

Newspapers; Legal Notices and Publications Requirements HB 728 (Head) would have altered the requirements for newspapers that may be used for legal notices and publications by changing the publication and circulation requirement from 24 consecutive weeks to at least 50 of the preceding 52 weeks; requiring that such a newspaper have both a general circulation in, as newly defined in the bill, and news coverage of the area in which such notice is required to be published; and requiring that such newspaper publish the United States Postal Service Statement of Ownership in such newspaper at least once per calendar year and maintain a copy of such form for inspection.

 

Parental Choice Education Savings Accounts HB 1286 (LaRock) would have permitted the parents of certain children to apply to the school division in which the child resides for a one-year, renewable Parental Choice Education Savings Account that consists of an amount that is equivalent to a certain percentage of all applicable annual Standards of Quality per pupil state funds appropriated for public school purposes and would permit the parent to use the moneys in such account for certain education-related expenses of the student, including tuition, deposits, fees, and required textbooks at a private elementary school or secondary school that is located in the Commonwealth.

 

Polling Places; Memorandum of Understanding HB 628 (Marshall) would have directed the Attorney General to develop and make available a template memorandum of understanding to be used by the localities when establishing polling places.

 

Pupil Information; Military Recruiters; Opt-Out HB 349 (Kory) would have prohibited the principal of a public elementary or secondary school from furnishing or permitting the furnishing of the name, address, and telephone listing of a presently or formerly enrolled pupil to an official recruiting representative of the Armed Forces of the United States or the Commonwealth without the written consent of such pupil or, if the pupil is less than 18 years of age, his parent if such pupil or his parent has submitted to the school board a written request to opt out of such disclosures.

 

Red Tape Reduction Commission; Review of Regulatory Requirements; Report HB 23 (Webert) would have created the Red Tape Reduction Commission (the Commission) to develop and maintain a state regulatory baseline of all current state regulatory requirements, with the initial baseline to be completed by January 1, 2020.

 

School Climate Survey HB 1119 (VanValkenburg) and SB 456 (McClellan) would have required the Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop and make available annually to each public elementary and secondary school teacher in the Commonwealth a voluntary and anonymous school climate survey to evaluate school-level teaching conditions and the impact such conditions have on teacher retention and student achievement.

 

School Property; Unrecorded Encumbrances SB 270 (Black) would have provided that whenever a school board or governing body acquires real property for the purpose of constructing a school facility, the real property shall not be subjected to or restricted by any unrecorded covenants, equitable servitudes, or other encumbrances unless such school board or governing body had actual notice of such.

 

Standards of Learning Innovation Committee; Adoption of recommendations HB 1501 (Hurst) would have required an affirmative vote by a majority of the members in attendance at a meeting of the Standards of Learning Innovation Committee (the Committee) for the Committee to adopt any recommendations.

 

State Agency Regulations; Legislation Requiring a State Agency to Adopt Regulations That Are Likely to Have a Significant Adverse Economic Impact HB 549 (Freitas) would have provided that no bill that directly or indirectly requires a state agency to adopt new or to amend existing regulations that are likely to have a significant adverse economic impact shall be considered by the General Assembly unless the bill contains a second or final enactment clause directing the state agency to develop proposed regulatory requirements by December 1 of the year in which the bill is introduced and providing that the first enactment of the bill that would directly or indirectly require the state agency to adopt new or to amend existing regulations shall not become effective unless reenacted by the following year's session of the General Assembly.

 

State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act; Disclosure by Local Government Officers and Employees HB 655 (Murphy) would have provided that an officer or employee of local government who has a personal interest in a transaction but who is still eligible to participate in the transaction because he is a member of a business, profession, occupation, or group of three or more persons the members of which are affected by the transaction need only declare his interest in the transaction at the first meeting at which the transaction is discussed and at least one subsequent meeting thereafter.

 

State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act; General Assembly Conflicts of Interests Act; Prohibited Contracts; Exceptions HB 1517 (Rush) would have increased from $500 to $5,000 the value of a contract for the purchase of goods or services that a state officer or employee or a member of the General Assembly may have with his governmental agency or another governmental agency without being considered to have a prohibited interest in a contract.

 

State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act; School Boards and School Board Employees HB 666 (Kilgore) would have excluded school boards that govern local school divisions located in Planning District 1 from the prohibition against hiring, under certain circumstances, a school board employee who is related to a member of the school board.

 

Student Voters; Virginia Voter Registration HB 1116 (VanValkenburg) would have required each public high school and public institution of higher education to provide to any enrolled student who is of voting age or otherwise eligible to register to vote access to Virginia voter registration information and applications.

 

Suspension or Nullification of Administrative Rule or Regulation; Constitutional Amendment (second resolution); Powers of General Assembly; HJ 111 (Head) would have provided that the General Assembly may suspend or nullify any or all portions of any administrative rule or regulation by a joint resolution agreed to by a majority of the members elected to each house. The amendment would have also granted to the General Assembly the authority to authorize a legislative committee or legislative committees acting jointly or a legislative commission to suspend any or all portions of any administrative rule or regulation while the General Assembly is not in a regular session. Such suspension would have continued until the end of the next regular session. HB 1213 (Head) would have provided for a referendum at the November 6, 2018, election to approve or reject an amendment that would permit the General Assembly to suspend or nullify any or all portions of any administrative rule or regulation by a joint resolution agreed to by a majority of the members elected to each house.

 

Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council; Annual Inspection of Disclosure Forms HB 566 (Gooditis) would have required the Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council to conduct an annual inspection of a random sample of disclosure statements filed with the Council to determine compliance with applicable disclosure requirements and limitations on gifts, the accuracy of information disclosed, and whether filing deadlines were met. The bill would have required such random sample to include the disclosure forms of one member of the House of Delegates and one Senator and one percent of all state officers and employees and one percent of all lobbyists who file such forms.

 

Virginia Freedom of Information Act; Definition of "Custodian." HB 957 (Yancey) would have defined "custodian," for the purposes of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, as the official in charge of a public body or entity that has created, prepared, or revised a public record or that maintains or possesses a public record. The bill would have allowed for more than one custodian per record.

 

Virginia Freedom of Information Act; Definition of Public Record SB 730 (DeSteph) would have clarified that the definition of "public record" does not include records that are not prepared for or used in the transaction of public business. The bill would have defined "social media account" and created a new discretionary exemption for social media records of General Assembly members when such records relate to the use of a social media account by a member in such member's individual capacity. The bill would have required the public body to be a necessary party in any enforcement proceeding.

 

Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council; Charges for the Production of Public Records HB 1603 (Roem) would have provided that any citizen may file up to 20 records requests to a single public body in a period of 31 consecutive days without incurring fees for the first two hours of service. The bill would have provided that for every request filed to one public body exceeding 20 requests filed during a period of 31 consecutive days by that same individual, the agency may levy a fee equal to the hourly rate of pay, excluding benefits, of the lowest paid individual capable of fulfilling the request. The bill would have further provided that if the requested records are maintained by the public body in an electronic data processing system, computer database, or any other structured collection of data and the request requires more than two hours to fulfill, the public body may charge an hourly rate for accessing or searching for the records not to exceed the hourly rate of pay of the lowest paid individual capable of fulfilling the request, and in no case shall total costs exceed $50 unless the public body and the requester reach an agreement for the requester to pay a higher amount.

 

Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA); Civil Penalty SB 630 (Surovell) would have provided that in addition to any penalties imposed under FOIA, if a court finds that any officer, employee, or member of a public body failed to provide public records to a requester in accordance with the provisions of FOIA because such officer, employee, or member of a public body intentionally altered or destroyed the requested public records prior to the expiration of the applicable record retention period set by the retention regulations promulgated pursuant to the Virginia Public Records Act (§ 42.1-76 et seq.) by the State Library Board, the court shall impose upon such officer, employee, or member in his individual capacity, whether or not a writ of mandamus or injunctive relief is awarded, a civil penalty of up to $100 per record altered or destroyed, which amount shall be paid into the Literary Fund, and if a court finds that a member of a public body voted to certify a closed meeting and at the time of such certification such certification was not in accordance with the requirements of FOIA, the court may impose on each such member voting to certify in his individual capacity, whether or not a writ of mandamus or injunctive relief is awarded, a civil penalty of $500, which amount shall be paid into the Literary Fund.

 

Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council; Formal Advisory Opinions; Immunity From Civil Penalty HB 213 (Mullin) would have required that formal advisory opinions issued by the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council (Council) be approved by the Council and, after such approval, be published on the Council's website. The bill would have also provided that no officer, employee, or member of a public body shall be found to have willfully and knowingly violated certain enumerated provisions of the Freedom of Information Act if the alleged violation resulted from his good faith reliance on a formal advisory opinion of the Council made in response to his written request for such opinion and such opinion was made after a full disclosure of the facts.

 

Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA); Records Containing Both Excluded and Nonexcluded Information; Duty to Redact HB 958 (Yancey) would have provided that no provision of FOIA is intended, nor shall it be construed or applied, to authorize a public body to withhold a public record in its entirety on the grounds that information contained in the public record was provided by another public body.

 

Virginia Freedom of Information Act; Right to Speak at Open Meetings HB 1101 (Robinson) would have required that every public body, except for governing boards of public institutions of higher education, afford an opportunity for public comment during any open meeting. The bill would have provided, however, that if a public body holds more than four meetings in a calendar year, such public body may, by recorded vote, limit the number of meetings at which an opportunity for public comment is afforded to four meetings per calendar year. The bill would have required that the notice given by a public body prior to a meeting include information as to the approximate point during the meeting when public comment will be received. HB 1247 (Cline) and SB 336 (Peake) would have required that every public body afford an opportunity for public comment during any open meeting. The bill would have required that the notice given by a public body prior to a meeting include information as to the approximate point during the meeting when public comment will be received. The bill would have permitted public bodies to choose the approximate point during the meeting when public comment will be received and permits public bodies to adopt reasonable rules governing the public comment portion of the meeting, including imposing reasonable restrictions on time, place, and manner. 

 

Virginia Freedom of Information Act; Scholastic Records; Student Handheld Mobile Telephone Numbers and Student Personal Email Addresses HB 147 (Habeeb) would have excluded student handheld mobile telephone numbers and student personal email addresses contained in student directories or other scholastic records from the mandatory disclosure provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.

 

Virginia Freedom of Information Act; Transfer of Public Records HB 959 (Yancey) and SB 876 (Mason) would have required a public body initiating a transfer of public records to any entity, including to any other public body, to remain the custodian of those records only if the public body has transferred the entirety of those public records. The bill also excludes the transfer of a portion of information contained in a public body's public record to another public body from being considered a transfer of an entire public record.

 

Virginia Freedom of Information Act; Transfer of Public Records; Definition of "Custodian." HB 504 (Mullin) would have defined "custodian," for purposes of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, as a public body or its officers, employees, or agents who (i) have prepared or (ii) own or are in possession of a public record. HB 664 (Kilgore) would have required a public body initiating a transfer of public records to any entity, including to any other public body, to remain the custodian of those records only if the public body has transferred the entirety of those public records.

 

Virginia Public School Improvement Program HB 687 (McQuinn) would have created the Virginia Public School Improvement Program to offer maximum educational options and flexibility for parents, teachers, and students. The bill would have authorized any local school board to designate or approve any public school within its school division to participate in the Program if a majority of parents and teachers of students at the school have petitioned the school board to participate in the Program, it does not meet the requirements to be fully accredited, or the school's pass rates for English and mathematics are below the division-wide average.

 

Voter Registration; Notice and Public Access Not Required for Certain Voter Registration Events SB 358 (McClellan) would have provided that voter registration conducted in a high school and voter registration events sponsored or conducted by an entity or organization which the general registrar or an assistant registrar attends as an invitee are not required to be open to the public. Currently, opportunities for voter registration are required to be provided at sites open to the public. The bill also would have provided that notice is not required for voter registration events that are not open to the public which the general registrar or an assistant registrar attends or voter registration events which the general registrar or an assistant registrar attends as an invitee. Note this bill incorporated provisions from SB 131 (Edwards).

 

 

SPECIAL SERVICES – APPROVED

 

Autism Advisory Council; Sunset SB 234 (Hanger) extends the sunset provision of the Autism Advisory Council from July 1, 2018, to July 1, 2020. Note that this bill incorporated content from SB 337 (Stuart).

 

Collection of Student Demographic Data SB 238 (DeSteph) prohibits local school boards from requiring a student or his parent to disclose information related to the student's race or ethnicity unless the student or his parent is given an option to designate "other" for the student's race or ethnicity or such disclosure is required by federal law.

 

Data Collection and Dissemination; Governance SB 580 (Hanger) amends the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act (§ 2.2-3800 et seq.) to facilitate the sharing of data among agencies of the Commonwealth and between the Commonwealth and political subdivisions. The bill creates the position of Chief Data Officer of the Commonwealth (CDO), housed in the office of the Secretary of Administration, to (i) develop guidelines regarding data usage, storage, and privacy and (ii) coordinate and oversee data sharing in the Commonwealth to promote the usage of data in improving the delivery of services. The bill also creates a temporary Data Sharing and Analytics Advisory Committee (Advisory Committee) to advise the CDO in the initial establishment guidelines and best practices, and to make recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly regarding a permanent data governance structure.  The bill directs the CDO and the Advisory Committee to focus their initial efforts on developing a project for the sharing, analysis, and dissemination of data at a state, regional, and local level related to substance abuse, with a focus on opioid addiction, abuse, and overdose. Note that this bill incorporated provisions from SB 459 (Edwards), SB 719 (Dunnavant), SB 804 (Carrico), and SB 830 (Barker).

 

Dual Enrollment HB 3 (Landes) requires the State Board for Community Colleges and the Virginia Community College System to develop and implement, in coordination with the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia, the Department of Education, and the Virginia Association of School Superintendents, (i) a plan to achieve and maintain the same standards regarding quality, consistency, and level of evaluation and review for dual enrollment courses offered by local school divisions pursuant to § 23.1-907 as are required for all courses taught in the System and (ii) a process and criteria for determining whether any dual enrollment course offered in the Commonwealth that meets or exceeds such standards is transferable to a public institution of higher education as (a) a uniform certificate of general studies program or passport program course credit, (b) a general elective course credit, or (c) a course credit meeting other academic requirements of a public institution of higher education.  HB 919 (Jones) and SB 631 (Dunnavant) make several changes to the Virginia Community College System to ensure a standard quality of education at all comprehensive community colleges, and to ensure the transfer of community college credit to four-year public institutions of higher education.  Included among those changes are a requirement that community colleges would be required to indicate whether dual enrollment courses offered at a local school division would be eligible for transfer. The Community College system is also required to maintain a database of all dual enrollment courses offered across the Commonwealth. The bill also requires the State Board for Community Colleges to establish quality standards for dual enrollment courses. The bill contains enactment clauses that would mandate that the State Board for Community Colleges develop an initial plan for standardization to be presented no later than September 1, 2018 and that the Virginia Community College System shall establish the one-semester Passport Program and one-year Uniform Certificate of General Studies Program as required by this act by July 1, 2020, and each associate-degree-granting public institution shall offer such programs by the 2020-2021 academic year.  Note that SB 631 incorporated provisions from SB 77 (Sturtevant) and SB 107 (Suetterlein).

 

Education Preparation Programs; Reading Specialists; Dyslexia HB 1265 (Cline) and SB 368 (Newman) require each education preparation program offered by a public institution of higher education or private institution of higher education that leads to a degree, concentration, or certificate for reading specialists to include a program of coursework or other training in the identification of and the appropriate interventions, accommodations, and teaching techniques for students with dyslexia or a related disorder. The bill requires such programs to (i) include coursework in the constructs and pedagogy underlying remediation of reading, spelling, and writing and (ii) require reading specialists to demonstrate mastery of an evidence-based, structured literacy instructional approach that includes explicit, systematic, sequential, and cumulative instruction.  Note that an identical bill, awaits the Governor’s signature.

 

Freedom of Information Act, Access to Student Directory Information HB 1 (Wilt) specifies that student directory information may be disclosed in accordance with federal and state law and regulation, provided that the school has given notice to the parent or eligible student of (i) the types of information that the school has designated as directory information; (ii) the right of the parent or eligible student to refuse the designation of any or all of the types of information about the student as directory information, and (iii) the period of time within which the parent or eligible student must notify the school in writing that he does not want any or all of the types of information about the student designated as directory information. However, no school will be able to disclose the address, telephone number, or email address of a student pursuant to 34 C.F.R. § 99.31(a) (11) or the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.) unless the parent or eligible student has affirmatively consented in writing to such disclosure.  SB 512 (Suetterlein) prohibits the custodian of a scholastic record from releasing the address, phone number, or email address of a student in response to a Freedom of Information request without written consent. For any student who is (i) 18 years of age or older, (ii) under the age of 18 and emancipated, or (iii) attending an institution of higher education, written consent of the student shall be required. For any other student, written consent of the parent or legal guardian of such student shall be required.

 

Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act; Sharing and Dissemination of Data HB 1277 (Garrett) amends the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act (§ 2.2-3800 et seq.) to facilitate the sharing of data among agencies of the Commonwealth and between the Commonwealth and political subdivisions.

 

Home Instruction of Children; Education Options HB 1370 (Pogge) clarifies that a parent who provides home instruction through a program of study or curriculum is required to provide his child with such program of study or curriculum to satisfy the requirements for the home instruction of such child.

 

Homeless Children SB 961 (Mason) aligns provisions regarding when a homeless child or youth is deemed to reside in a school division with Subtitle VII-B of the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. § 11431 et seq.) and updates references to such Act.

 

Instruction in American Sign Language; Academic Credit; Foreign Language Requirements HB 84 (Bell, R.P.) requires any local school board that does not offer any elective course in American Sign Language to grant academic credit for successful completion of an American Sign Language course offered by a comprehensive community college or a multi-division online provider approved by the Board on the same basis as the successful completion of a foreign language course and count completion of any such American Sign Language course toward the fulfillment of any foreign language requirement for graduation.

 

Military Children; Tuition SB 775 (Locke) prohibits the child of a person on active military duty who is attending school for free from being charged upon such child’s relocation pursuant to orders his parent received to relocate to a new duty station or to be deployed. The bill allows the child to remain enrolled in the current school division free of tuition through the end of the school year. The bill also prohibits the child of a person on active military duty who is eligible to attend a school for free from being charged tuition by a school division that will be that child's school division of residence upon such child's service member parent's relocation to the jurisdiction for that school division pursuant to orders received.

 

Military Student Enrollment Policies HB 1085 (Yancey) requires school boards to establish policies to provide for the enrollment of students living on a military base or in military housing to any school within the school division upon space availability. In developing such policies, school boards can include any condition enumerated in the current statute governing open enrollment or "any other condition deemed appropriate by the local school board." 

 

Practice of Social Work HB 614 (Price) provides that the Board of Social Work may license baccalaureate social workers, master's social workers, and clinical social workers, as those terms are defined, and may register persons proposing to obtain supervised post-degree experience in the practice of social work.

Public Institutions of Higher Education; Loans to Students; Collection HB 165 (Yancey) requires each public institution that makes a loan to a student to (i) include in loan documents for each such loan an individual plan for the repayment of principal and interest and the payment of any late fees and clear and detailed information about the collection process for such loan pursuant to the Virginia Debt Collection Act, including information about the agency or entity that is responsible for collection, and (ii) establish a process for notifying each student or, in the case of an undergraduate student and as appropriate, the student's parent of any loan payment that is past due no later than (a) 30 days after such payment becomes past due and (b) if necessary, the end of the academic term during which such payment becomes past due. The bill permits each such institution, with the consent of the borrower, to modify the terms of any loan for which payments are past due to provide for repayment forbearance on such loan and repayment to commence on a mutually agreed-upon date in the future.

 

State Council of Higher Education for Virginia; Longitudinal Data HB 347 (Landes) requires the data that the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia annually collects and publishes on the percentage of graduates of public institutions of higher education and certain nonprofit private institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth who are known to be employed in the Commonwealth and the average salary and the average higher education-related debt for such graduates to be disaggregated by degree program and level as well as to be made available to each admitted student.

 

Student Attendance, Unexcused Absences HB 1485 (Filler-Corn) and SB 841 (Favola) make several changes to the procedures relating to interventions when a pupil fails to report to school for a total of five scheduled school days for the school year, no indication has been received by school personnel that the pupil's parent is aware of and supports the pupil's absence, and a reasonable effort to notify the parent has failed; including granting additional flexibility as to how and when interventions are to occur, permitting but not requiring the attendance officer to participate in the initial plan to address non-attendance, as well as in any conference necessitated by additional absences subsequent to the development of the initial plan.  In addition, the legislation permits but does not require the attendance officer to file a complaint with the juvenile and domestic relations court alleging the pupil is a child in need of supervision or to institute criminal proceedings against the parent pursuant to relevant law.

 

Suicide Prevention Activities, Report HB 569 (Gooditis) requires the Commissioner of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to report annually by December 1 to the Governor and the General Assembly on the Department's activities related to suicide prevention across the lifespan.

 

 

SPECIAL SERVICES – CONTINUED TO 2019

 

Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing; Services; Advisory Subcommittee HB 676 (Pogge) would declare it the goal of the Commonwealth that each child who is deaf or hard of hearing is (i) as linguistically ready for kindergarten as his peers who are not deaf or hard of hearing and (ii) receptively and expressively literate in English and literate in written English by the end of third grade. The bill would require each agency of the Commonwealth that is responsible for providing services to children who are deaf or hard of hearing to collaborate to provide unified and seamless services for each such child from the onset of the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention process through the end of his elementary and secondary school career. The bill also would establish a 14-member Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children's Advisory Subcommittee within the Disability Commission to advise the Commission on the provision of services in the Commonwealth for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.  SB 160 (Edwards) would require the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, in coordination with the Department of Education, to select, with input from an advisory committee, language development milestones and include such milestones in a resource for use by parents of a child from birth to age five who is identified as deaf or hard of hearing to monitor and track their child's expressive and receptive language acquisition and developmental stages toward English literacy; would disseminate such resource to such parents; select existing tools or assessments for educators for use in assessing the language and literacy development of children from birth to age five who are deaf or hard of hearing; would disseminate such tools or assessments to local educational agencies and provide materials and training on their use; and would annually produce a report that compares the language and literacy development of children from birth to age five who are deaf or hard of hearing with the language and literacy development of their peers who are not deaf or hard of hearing and make such report available to the public on its website. Note that multiple bills with identical or similar intent failed, including HB 118 (Kory), HB 232 (Tyler), HB 735 (Carr), HB 848 (Ingram), HB 893 (Webert) and HB 1410 (Helsel).

 

Educational Placement Transition of Certain Students With Disabilities, Pilot Program SB 975 (Vogel) would require the Department of Education to develop and implement a pilot program in two local school divisions in the Commonwealth to partner with the appropriate school board employees in each such local school division to identify the resources, services, and supports required by each student who resides in each such local school division and who is educated in a private school setting pursuant to his Individualized Education Program; would study the feasibility of transitioning each such student from his private school setting to an appropriate public school setting in the local school division and providing the identified resources, services, and supports in such public school setting; and would recommend a process for redirecting federal, state, and local funds, including funds provided pursuant to the Children's Services Act, provided for the education of each such student to the local school division for the purpose of providing the identified resources, services, and supports in the appropriate public school setting. Note that an identical bill, HB 176 (Bell, R.P.) failed in the House.

 

In-State Tuition, Rates of Increase SB 373 (DeSteph) would prohibit any percentage increase in in-state tuition or instructional fees for undergraduate students at Virginia's public institutions of higher education that exceeds the annual percentage increase, as determined by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, in the Average Consumer Price Index for all items, all urban consumers (CPI-U), as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor, from January 1 through December 31 of the year immediately preceding the affected year. Note that this bill incorporated provisions from SB 377 (DeSteph), SB 577 (DeSteph), SB 749 (Sturtevant), and SB 836 (DeSteph)

 

Reading Diagnostic Tests SB 865 (Black) would require that the first reading diagnostic test administered to a student in kindergarten through grade three include a rapid alphabet naming component and that local school divisions report the results of reading diagnostic tests to parents, including subset scores.

 

School Nurses SB 366 (Stuart) would exclude 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. Note that all other Nurse staffing ratio-related bills failed (see below).

 

Topical Sunscreen for Elementary and Secondary School Students HB 330 (Yancey) would permit any public elementary or secondary school student to possess and use unscented topical sunscreen in its original packaging on a school bus, on school property, or at a school-sponsored event without a note or prescription from a licensed health care professional if the topical sunscreen is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for nonprescription use for the purpose of limiting damage to skin caused by exposure to ultraviolet light.

 

 

SPECIAL SERVICES – FAILED

 

Bullying and Suicide Prevention Among LGBTQ and Other Youth; Study HJ 73 (Carr) would have requested that the Department of Education assess the effectiveness of current suicide prevention strategies and anti-bullying policies and codes of student conduct among school divisions; identify areas for improvement among such strategies, policies, and codes of conduct; determine the suicide rate of youth in the Commonwealth and identify the percentage of LGBTQ youth in such rate; and recommend strategies, policies, and programs that can be used to decrease and prevent bullying, harassment, discrimination, and intimidation of LGBTQ and other youth, and the rate of suicide resulting therefrom, in the Commonwealth's public schools.

 

Children's Services Act; Special Education Programs HB 1346 (Thomas) and SB 205 (Stuart) would have expanded eligibility for services under the Children's Services Act to students who transfer from an approved private school special education program to a public school special education program established and funded jointly by a local governing body and school division located within Planning District 16 for the purpose of providing special education and related services when the public school special education program is able to provide services comparable to those of an approved private school special education program and the student would require placement in an approved private school special education program but for the availability of the public school special education program.

 

Children's Services Act; Study and Report HJ 29 (Bell, R.P.) would have directed the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) to conduct a comprehensive review of the Children's Services Act (§ 2.2-5200 et seq.), including its administration, structure, funding sources, and covered services. The resolution would have directed JLARC to make recommendations for improvement in these areas and to ensure the future success of the Children's Services Act.

 

Community Schools HB 121 (Rasoul) would have required the Department of Education to establish an interagency taskforce composed of state and local agencies and entities in the areas of early childhood development, health, social services, community engagement, family engagement, higher education, and workforce development for the purpose of developing a program for the establishment of community schools whereby public elementary and secondary schools serve as centers for the provision of such community programs and services to students and their families as may be necessary on the basis of the unique needs of the student population to be served.

 

Dual Enrollment Agreements; Scope HB 542 (Freitas) would have required each agreement for postsecondary degree attainment between a local school board and a comprehensive community college to include a process by which high school students who reside in a school division that is governed by a school board that is not a party to such agreement may apply for enrollment in the dual enrollment courses offered pursuant to such agreement.  HB 1322 (Cole) would have required each dual enrollment agreement to permit students enrolled at the relevant high school and students enrolled at the relevant comprehensive community college to participate in any dual enrollment course on a space-available basis, regardless of whether such course is offered at the relevant high school or at the relevant comprehensive community college.

 

Dual Enrollment Course Credit HB 535 (Freitas) would have provided that credit received for the successful completion of any dual enrollment course offered pursuant to an agreement for postsecondary degree attainment between a comprehensive community college and a public high school shall satisfy degree requirements at each public institution of higher education. 

 

Dual Enrollment Courses for Students Who Receive Home Instruction HB 497 (Bell, R.B.) would have required each school board to permit any student who receives home instruction and resides in the local school division to apply for enrollment as a part-time student of the local school division in any dual enrollment course offered pursuant to an agreement for postsecondary degree attainment at a public high school in the local school division or at the comprehensive community college.

 

Education Improvement Scholarships Tax Credits; Benefits and Eligibility Requirements for Students with a Disability HB 221 (Miyares) would have broadened eligibility criteria for students with a disability to include students with an Individualized Instructional Plan (IIP) attending a school for students with a disability licensed by the Department of Education and accredited by an agency approved by Virginia Council of Private Education. The remaining criteria for students with a disability (residence in Virginia and family household income not more than 400 percent of the poverty level) would have continued to apply regardless of whether the student had an IIP or an IEP.  The bill would have increased the scholarship amount available for an eligible student with a disability from 100 percent to 300 percent of the per-pupil amount distributed to the local school division as the state's share of the standards of quality costs.

 

Encouraging Certain State Agencies and Organizations to Help Businesses Employing Workers Under Age 18 HJ 40 (Yancey) would have expressed the sense of the General Assembly that the complicated regulatory hurdles associated with employing workers under the age of 18 make it difficult to get them the experience they need to be productive workers and that early outreach to students may help facilitate getting students on a career track earlier.

Encouraging the Creation of a Consolidated Application for State and Federal Services and the Sharing of Data SJ 74 (Ebbin) would have encouraged the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, the Secretary of Education, and their associated state agencies to analyze the feasibility of developing and implementing a consolidated application for state and federal services administered by the Commonwealth and to explore opportunities to share data among state agencies regarding applicants for and recipients of such services.

 

Experiential Learning and Workforce Development Opportunities in High-Demand Fields; Study and Report HJ 17 (Filler-Corn) would have requested that the Standards of Learning Innovation Committee study experiential learning and workforce development opportunities for high school students in high-demand fields.

 

First Chance Trust Fund and Program, Created HB 837 (Bagby) would have created the First Chance Trust Fund and Program which would have awarded scholarships to attend a public institution of higher education in the Commonwealth to any student who attends a public high school that is located in a region of the Commonwealth that has a high school dropout rate, poverty rate, or incarceration rate that is higher than the relevant average rate in the Commonwealth; or which would have granted to any private, nonprofit social services organization that is located in a region of the Commonwealth that has a high school dropout rate, poverty rate, or incarceration rate that is higher than the relevant average rate in the Commonwealth.

 

High School Graduation; Certificates of Program Completion HB 390 (Keam) would have required each student who has completed a course of study in accordance with the Standards of Quality and finishes his senior year in good academic standing to be awarded a certificate of program completion by the local school board if he is not eligible to receive a Board of Education-approved diploma. Under current law, such students are required to complete a prescribed course of study as defined by the local school board. The bill would have required each local school board to permit each such student to participate in his high school graduation or commencement ceremony

 

High School Staffing; Mental Health Counselors HB 252 (Guzman) would have required each school board to employ at least one mental health counselor per 250 students in each high school in the local school division.

 

Identification of and Interventions for Dyslexia; report SJ 59 (Newman) would have established a one-year joint subcommittee consisting of seven members of the House Committee on Education and six members of the Senate to study the identification of and interventions for dyslexia in the public elementary and secondary schools of the Commonwealth. Note that this resolution was incorporated into SJ 62 (Newman).

 

In-state Tuition; Domicile; Individuals Granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals HB 11 (Kory) and SB 237 (Marsden) would have declared - absent congressional intent to the contrary - that any individual currently granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has the capacity to intend to remain in the Commonwealth indefinitely and is therefore eligible to establish domicile and receive in-state tuition charges at any public institution of higher education in the Commonwealth.


In-State Tuition; Certain Individuals Who Have Applied For Asylum HB 1191 (Bulova) would have declared eligible for in-state tuition any individual who attended a public or private high school in the Commonwealth for at least three years; graduated from a public or private high school in the Commonwealth or passed a high school equivalency examination approved by the Board of Education; registers as an entering student at or is enrolled in a public institution of higher education; provided an affidavit to the public institution of higher education at which he has registered as an entering student or is enrolled stating that he has filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services an application for asylum; and submitted evidence to the institution at which he has registered as an entering student or is enrolled that he, or in the case of a dependent student, at least one parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis, has filed, unless exempted by state law, Virginia income tax returns for at least three years prior to the date of registration as an entering student or enrollment. The bill would have provided that any such individual shall remain eligible for in-state tuition for as long as he maintains continuous enrollment in the public institution of higher education and his application for asylum has not been denied.

 

In-State Tuition; Certain Individuals Who Have Applied for Permanent Residency; Certain Individuals Approved Under Deferred Action Programs HB 19 (Lopez), HB 343 (Boysko) and SB 810 (Marsden) would have declared eligible for in-state tuition any individual who attended a public or private high school in the Commonwealth for at least three years; graduated from a public or private high school in the Commonwealth or passed a high school equivalency examination approved by the Board of Education; registers as an entering student at or is enrolled in a public institution of higher education; provides an affidavit to the public institution of higher education at which he has registered as an entering student or is enrolled stating that he has filed an application to become a permanent resident of the United States and is actively pursuing such permanent residency or will do so as soon as he becomes eligible for such permanent residency; and submits evidence to the institution at which he has registered as an entering student or is enrolled that he, or in the case of a dependent student, at least one parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis, has filed, unless exempted by state law, Virginia income tax returns for at least three years prior to the date of registration as an entering student or enrollment.

 

Office of the Children's Ombudsman HB 710 (Hurst) and SB 146 (Edwards) would have created the Office of the Children's Ombudsman to provide ombudsman services, including investigation of complaints, advocacy, and information for children, parents, and citizens involved with child-serving agencies, defined in the bill.

 

Pupil Information; Military Recruiters; Opt-Out HB 349 (Kory) would have prohibited the principal of a public elementary or secondary school from furnishing or permitting the furnishing of the name, address, and telephone listing of a presently or formerly enrolled pupil to an official recruiting representative of the Armed Forces of the United States or the Commonwealth without the written consent of such pupil or, if the pupil is less than 18 years of age, his parent if such pupil or his parent has submitted to the school board a written request to opt out of such disclosures.

 

Required Immunizations; Meningococcal Conjugate HB 644 (Hope) would have required the Board of Health to include in regulations governing the immunization of school children a requirement for one dose of meningococcal conjugate (MCV4) vaccine administered before the child enters the sixth grade.

 

School-Based Health Care; Study and Report SJ 48 (McPike) would have requested the Department of Medical Assistance Services and the Department of Education to study the integration of health care services into public schools in the Commonwealth.

 

School Nurses HB 791 (Pogge) would have would have required local school boards 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. HB 1046 (Torian) would have required 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 AND at least one full-time equivalent school nurse position per 550 students in grades kindergarten through 12. HB 1254 (Thomas) would have required 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 AND at least one full-time equivalent school nurse position per 1,000 students in grades kindergarten through 12. 

 

Special Education Aides; Caseload HB 253 (Guzman) would have provided that the maximum caseload for each full-time special education aide is five students.

 

State School Health Advisory Board SB 80 (Favola) would have established the State School Health Advisory Board in the executive branch to advise the General Assembly and the Governor on pending or proposed legislation concerning the role of employees in public elementary or secondary schools in providing health care services at such schools and to provide guidance on any associated training requirements.

 

Students With Blindness or Visual Impairment HB 336 (Cole) would have made several changes relating to the provisions for special education programs for students with blindness or visual impairment, including requiring each local school board to provide instruction in Braille and the use of Braille for such students unless the student's Individualized Education Program (IEP) team determines, after a critical assessment of the student, that instruction in Braille or the use of Braille is not appropriate to the student's educational needs and requiring a critical assessment to be administered to each student with blindness or visual impairment triannually and after any significant change in the student's vision.

 

Suicidal Students HJ 138 (Roem) would have requested each school board in the Commonwealth to provide resources or training to all full-time and part-time school board employees on the identification of students who are suicidal.

 

Virginia Community College System; Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Scholarship Pilot Program HB 285 (Murphy) and SB 27 (Stanley) would have directed the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) to establish and administer a two-year Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Scholarship Pilot Program (the Program) for the purpose of providing access to postsecondary educational opportunities to students living in poverty.

 

Virginia Freedom of Information Act; Scholastic Records; Student Handheld Mobile Telephone Numbers and Student Personal Email Addresses HB 147 (Hurst) would have excluded student handheld mobile telephone numbers and student personal email addresses contained in student directories or other scholastic records from the mandatory disclosure provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.

 

Virtual Virginia; Enrollment HB 521 (Bell, R. B.) and HB 1504 (Cline) would have required enrollment in the Virtual Virginia online learning program during the school year to be open, on a space-available basis, to each public high school student in the Commonwealth and each high school student in the Commonwealth who receives home instruction.

 

 

STANDARDS OF QUALLITY/STANDARDS OF ACCREDITATION – APPROVED

 

Career and Technical Education Credentials; Testing Accommodations for English Language Learners HB 442 (Carroll Foy) requires the Department of Education to develop, maintain, and make available to each local school board a catalogue of the testing accommodations available to English language learners for each certification, examination, assessment, and battery that satisfies the career and technical education credential graduation requirement. The bill requires each local school board to develop and implement policies to require each high school principal or his designee to notify each English language learner of the availability of such testing accommodations prior to the student's participation in any such certification, examination, assessment, or battery. The bill has a delayed effective date of July 1, 2019.

 

Career and Technical Education; Diplomas HB 1530 (Davis) requires the Board of Education to make recommendations to the Governor and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Education and Health no later than November 1, 2018, relating to strategies for eliminating any stigma associated with high school career and technical education pathways and the choice of high school students to pursue coursework and other educational opportunities in career and technical education and related fields such as computer science and robotics and the consolidation of the standard and advanced diplomas into a single diploma and the creation of multiple endorsements for such diploma to recognize student competencies and achievements in specific subject matter areas.

 

Career Investigation Courses and Programs of Instruction HB 632 (Bulova) requires the Board of Education (Board) to establish content standards and curriculum guidelines for courses in career investigation; develop, in consultation with certain stakeholders, resource materials that are designed to ensure that students have the ability to further explore interest in career and technical education opportunities in middle and high school; and disseminate such career investigation resource materials to each school board. The bill directs each school board to require each middle school student to take at least one course or alternative program of instruction in career investigation.

 

Diploma Seals; Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics HB 167 (Miyares) requires the Board of Education to establish criteria for awarding a diploma seal for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for the Board of Education-approved diplomas.

 

Dual Language Programs and Positions HB 507 (Mullin) provides that the instructional programs for students with limited English proficiency implemented by each local school board may include dual language programs whereby such students receive instruction in English and in a second language and the additional full-time equivalent instructional positions for students identified as having limited English proficiency that are funded pursuant to the general appropriation act may include dual language teachers who provide instruction in English and in a second language. 

 

High School Graduation Requirements; Clock Hours SB 664 (McPike) requires the Board of Education, in its graduation requirements, to permit local school divisions to waive the requirement for students to receive 140 clock hours of instruction after the student has completed the course curriculum and relevant Standards of Learning end-of-course assessment, or Board-approved substitute, provided that such student subsequently receives instruction, coursework, or study toward an industry certification approved by the local school board.

 

High School Graduation Requirements; Course Load HB 329 (Yancey) requires the Board of Education, in establishing high school graduation requirements, to permit students to exceed a full course load in order to participate in courses offered by an institution of higher education that lead to a degree, certificate, or credential at such institution.

 

High School Graduation Requirements; Substitution of Computer Coding Credit for Foreign Language Credit for English Learners HB 443 (Carroll Foy) requires the Board of Education, in establishing high school graduation requirements, to permit any English language learner who previously earned a sufficient score on an Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate foreign language examination, or on an SAT II Subject Test in a foreign language to substitute computer coding course credit for any foreign language course credit required to graduate, except in cases in which such foreign language course credit is required to earn an advanced diploma offered by a nationally recognized provider of college-level courses.

 

Instruction in American Sign Language; Academic Credit; Foreign Language Requirements HB 84 (Bell, R.P.) requires any local school board that does not offer any elective course in American Sign Language to grant academic credit for successful completion of an American Sign Language course offered by a comprehensive community college or a multi-division online provider approved by the Board on the same basis as the successful completion of a foreign language course and count completion of any such American Sign Language course toward the fulfillment of any foreign language requirement for graduation.

 

 

STANDARDS OF QUALITY/STANDARDS OF ACCREDITATION – CONTINUED TO 2019

 

Mathematics Intervention Services SB 713 (Dunnavant) would require local school divisions to identify students in grades 10, 11, and 12 who are at risk of graduating without the necessary skills to take college-level mathematics coursework, as demonstrated by their individual performance on a Standards of Learning assessment, the PreACT, PSAT/NMSQT, ACT, or SAT, the Virginia Placement Test, or any diagnostic test that has been approved by the Department and to provide mathematics intervention services to such students. The bill would require such intervention services to be aligned with the developmental math curriculum offered by the Virginia Community College System and provide that local school divisions may partner with a local comprehensive community college to provide such intervention services.

 

School Nurses; Staffing Standards SB 366 (Stuart) would exclude 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. Note that all other Nurse staffing ratio-related bills failed (see below).

 

Standards of Achievement Career and Technical Education Committee; Established SB 936 (Wagner and Ruff) would direct the Board of Education to establish the Standards of Achievement Career and Technical Education Committee (Committee) to make recommendations to the General Assembly and the Board of Education to facilitate the development of career and technical education Standards of Achievement, including accreditation standards, assessment testing, and course content and curriculum for participating schools, with a focus on rigorous standards and course content and curriculum that align workforce skills with industry-recognized standards; robust business and industry engagement and responsiveness to labor market needs; strategies to remove the stigma from career and technical education, including early exposure to career options and life skills; work-based learning and apprenticeships;  innovative high school models; and leveraging existing resources and programs in the Commonwealth.

 

 

STANDARDS OF QUALITY/STANDARDS OF ACCREDITATION - FAILED

 

Class Size Limits HB 168 (Murphy) would have established a maximum class size of 24 students in chemistry classes in grades six through 12.  HB 1380 (Robinson) would have reduced from 35 to 29 the maximum class size in grades four through six.  

 

High School Graduation Requirements; Standards of Learning Assessments HB 937 (Lopez) would have permitted any high school student who has earned the verified units of credit required to graduate with a standard diploma or advanced diploma to opt out of participation in any additional Standards of Learning assessment, unless granting such student's request to opt out of participation would result in the school's failure to meet any state or federal testing participation rate requirements.

 

High School Graduation Requirements; Substitution of Computer Coding Credit for Foreign Language Credit HB 576 (Davis) would have required 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, except in cases in which such foreign language course credit is required to earn an advanced diploma offered by a nationally recognized provider of college-level courses.

 

Limited English Proficiency Staffing HB 13 (Kory) would have required state funding to support increasing from 17 to 20 full-time equivalent instructional positions for each 1,000 students identified as having limited English proficiency.

 

Mental Health Counselor Staffing Requirements HB 252 (Guzman) would have required each school board to employ at least one mental health counselor per 250 students in each high school in the local school division.

 

Qualified Instructional Positions and Support Services Positions; Additional Funding HB 1508 (Adams) would have declared it to be the policy of the Commonwealth that school boards that are unable to fund the total amount required by the locality's composite index of local ability to pay to reach the prevailing funded salary for qualified instructional positions funded under the Standards of Quality, as set out in Direct Aid to Public Education in the general appropriation act, and support services positions shall receive, to the extent practicable, state funds for qualified instructional positions and support services positions in addition to those state funds that the school board receives for public school purposes.

 

School Divisions of Innovation; Performance-Based Assessments HB 652 (Murphy), HB 1278 (LaRock), and SB 302 (Favola) would have provided that a local school board applying for its school division to be designated as a School Division of Innovation could apply to the Board of Education (Board) to replace certain Standards of Learning assessments with performance-based assessments. The bill would have required the Board to determine if the local school board has the capacity to administer and score performance-based assessments and provides criteria for such determination. Under the bills, any proposed performance-based assessment would have been required to be an adequate replacement of the relevant Standards of Learning assessment by requiring that students demonstrate the knowledge and skills required by the relevant Standards of Learning and one or more of critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, or citizenship. The standards of learning assessments eligible for replacement would have been Virginia Studies, Civics and Economics, elementary school science, and middle school science. The bills would have required the Board to promulgate any necessary regulations and to submit to the U.S. Department of Education any necessary amendments to its consolidated State plan. Note that SB 302 had incorporated provisions from SB 437 (Wexton)

 

School Nurses; Staffing Standards HB 791 (Pogge) would have would have required local school boards 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. HB 1046 (Torian) would have required 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 AND at least one full-time equivalent school nurse position per 550 students in grades kindergarten through 12. HB 1254 (Thomas) would have required 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 AND at least one full-time equivalent school nurse position per 1,000 students in grades kindergarten through 12. 

 

School Staffing Requirements for Librarians SB 261 (Suetterlein) would have provided that a local school board required to employ two full-time librarians for any middle school or high school may meet such requirement by employing two full-time librarians, or one full-time librarian and one full-time media specialist or instructional resource teacher. The bill would also have provided that a local school board that is required to employ a full-time school-based clerical person for the library for any middle school or high school may meet such requirement by employing one full-time school-based clerical person for the library, for instruction, or for assessment or career planning, or by employing one full-time classroom instructional assistant.

 

Social Studies Verified Credit SB 969 (Newman) would have required the Board of Education to provide for a verified credit in History/Social Sciences in high school and would have precluded the use of locally developed performance based assessments to verify that credit. Note, however, that related language was included among Senate budget amendments and could still find its way into the final budget document, which has yet to be finalized.

 

Special Education Aides; Caseload HB 253 (Guzman) would have provided that the maximum caseload for each full-time special education aide is five students.

 

Standards of Learning Innovation Committee; Adoption of Recommendations HB 1501 (Hurst) would have required an affirmative vote by a majority of the members in attendance at a meeting of the Standards of Learning Innovation Committee (the Committee) for the Committee to adopt any recommendations. Current law requires both an affirmative vote by a majority of the legislative members in attendance and of a majority of non-legislative members in attendance at a meeting for the Committee to adopt any recommendations.

 

Standards of Quality Funding; Apportionment of State and Local Share HB 305 (Watts) would have directed the General Assembly, in apportioning the state and local share of the costs of meeting the Standards of Quality, beginning July 1, 2018, to implement a formula that determines each locality's ability to pay based on the ratios of the reimbursement payment made to the locality for providing tangible personal property tax relief to the reimbursement payments made statewide for providing tangible personal property tax relief; the total value of real estate in the locality adjusted by the average of the cost of competing index if used for instructional personnel and for support positions to the statewide value of real estate per person; the local one percent sales tax revenue collected by the locality to the statewide total local sales tax revenue collected; the assessed value of the personal property taxed by the locality to the statewide assessed value of the local personal property tax; and revenue collected from local lodging, local cigarette, and local meals taxes to the revenue collected statewide from such local lodging, cigarette, and meals taxes.

 

Standards of Quality Funding, JLARC Study of the Costs of Education HJ 70 (Bloxom), HJ 115 (LaRock), HJ 126 (Carroll Foy), SJ 29 (Spruill) and SJ 56 (Sturtevant) would have directed the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study the true cost of education in the Commonwealth and provide an accurate assessment of the costs to implement the Standards of Quality. 

 

Standards of Quality Funding, Secretary of Education Study HJ 112 (Rodman) would have requested that the Secretary of Education study the requirements for the full funding of the Standards of Quality by establishing a work group consisting of interested stakeholders to review the current methods and formulae that the General Assembly utilizes to fund the Standards of Quality, with a particular focus on any adjustments or additional funding required to provide free public education to low-income students, students who receive special education, and English language learners.

Virginia Public School Improvement Program HB 687 (McQuinn) would have created the Virginia Public School Improvement Program to offer maximum educational options and flexibility for parents, teachers, and students. The bill would have authorized any local school board to designate or approve any public school within its school division to participate in the Program if a majority of parents and teachers of students at the school have petitioned the school board to participate in the Program, it does not meet the requirements to be fully accredited, or the school's pass rates for English and mathematics are below the division-wide average.

 

STUDENT ACTIVITIES AND ATHLETIC PROGRAMS - APPROVED

 

NONE

 

 

STUDENT ACTIVITIES AND ATHLETIC PROGRAMS – CONTINUED TO 2019

 

NONE

 

 

STUDENT ACTIVITIES AND ATHLETIC PROGRAMS - FAILED

 

Abusive Language; Sports Official; Penalty HB 1315 (Hope) would have made it a Class 1 misdemeanor for a person to, in the presence or hearing of a sports official, curse or abuse the sports official or use violent abusive language toward the sports official concerning the sports official or his relations under circumstances reasonably calculated to provoke a breach of the peace.

 

Home Instruction; Participation in Interscholastic Programs (“Tebow” Bill) HB 496 (Bell, R. B.) would have prohibited public schools from joining an organization governing interscholastic programs that does not deem eligible for participation a student who receives home instruction subject to specific requirements and qualifications.

 

Robotics Team Competition Program SB 169 (Stanley) would have required any nonprofit corporation founded in 1913 that currently organizes and governs interscholastic activities among the public high schools (the Virginia High School League) to establish, by July 1, 2021, a varsity level robotics team competition program that includes state championships.

 

Virginia High School League; JLARC Study HJ 3 (Bell, R.P.) would have directed the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) to study the Virginia High School League (VHSL). The resolution would have directed JLARC, in conducting its study, to review the usefulness of the functions currently performed by VHSL; assess how effectively VHSL fulfills its role, including its sanctioning authority; assess whether there is sufficient transparency and accountability in VHSL executive committee, board, and staff decisions, operations, and funding; compare the role and operations of VHSL with those of similar organizations in other states; assess whether VHSL as currently structured is the best model for performing the functions that VHSL currently performs; and review other issues and make recommendations as appropriate.

 

Synthetic Turf; Three-Year Moratorium on Installation of Turf that Contains Recycled Crumb Rubber HB 565 (Gooditis) would have placed a three-year moratorium on the installation of synthetic turf that contains recycled crumb rubber from waste tires within the boundaries of a public or private elementary or secondary school, public or private preschool, or recreational park by any public or private elementary or secondary school, public or private preschool, or local governing body. The bill would have also required the Virginia Department of Health, in coordination with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Virginia Department of Education, to analyze the potential adverse health effects of synthetic turf that contains recycled crumb rubber from waste tires no later than July 1, 2019.

 

 

STUDENT TESTING – APPROVED

 

Career and Technical Education Credentials; Testing Accommodations for English Language Learners HB 442 (Carroll Foy) requires the Department of Education to develop, maintain, and make available to each local school board a catalogue of the testing accommodations available to English language learners for each certification, examination, assessment, and battery that satisfies the career and technical education credential graduation requirement. The bill requires each local school board to develop and implement policies to require each high school principal or his designee to notify each English language learner of the availability of such testing accommodations prior to the student's participation in any such certification, examination, assessment, or battery. The bill has a delayed effective date of Jul