House Committee Tables Educator Salary and ESP Dignity Bills; Charter Bills in House Ed Committee Tomorrow
February 1, 2022
February 1, 2022
Today, the House K-12 Subcommittee killed a bill that would have add an additional layer of dignity protections for Education Support Professionals in our schools. HB 1110 sponsored by Delegate Michelle Maldonado would have simply Amend VA Code 22.1-6 to ensure that all Support Staff employees (Education SupportProfessionals, as classified by VEA) receive Equality in Professional Dignity Protections that licensed certified members are entitled to under state code. Particularly in reference to access grievance/disciplinary hearings BEFORE discipline/termination can occur. actions, excluding suspensions. The committee voted 4-2 to table the bill. VEA testified in support of HB1110.
The House K-12 Subcommittee also tabled a bill, HB535, by Delegate Nadarius Clark requires that public school teachers be compensated at a rate that is at or above the national average. Under current law, compensation at such rate is aspirational. The bill requires state funding to be provided pursuant to the general appropriation act in a sum sufficient to fund a 4.5 percent annual increase for public school teacher salaries, effective from the 2023-24 school year through the 2027-28 school year. The bill has a delayed effective date of July 1, 2023.
HB346 – Davis; VEA OPPOSES. Permits any public institution of higher education, private institution of higher education, or private business to apply to the Board of Education (the Board) to establish a college partnership laboratory school as a new school or through the conversion of all or part of an existing school. Under current law, only public and private institutions of higher education that operate approved teacher education programs are permitted to apply to the Board to establish such a school and no explicit provision is made for the conversion of an existing school. The bill requires the Board, in reviewing such applications, to give substantial preference to any application from a historically black college or university and any application to establish a college partnership laboratory school in an underserved community, which the bill defines as a geographical area that is served by public schools in which a high percentage of students are eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunch, as determined by the Board.
HB356 – Tata; VEA OPPOSES. Authorizes 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 (i) an enrollment of more than 3,000 students and (ii) one or more schools that have accreditation denied status for two out of the past three years. The bill requires 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. The bill authorizes the school board, after a review by the Board, to review and approve public charter school applications in the regional charter school divisions and to contract with the applicant. The bill requires that the state share of Standards of Quality per-pupil funding of the underlying school district in which the student resides be transferred to such school.
HB18 – Fowler; VEA HAS NO POSITION. Permits any appointed school board to pay each of its members an annual salary that is consistent with the salary procedures and no more than the salary limits provided for local governments in relevant law or as provided by charter, with certain exceptions and conditions. Current law sets a specific maximum dollar amount for the salary of members of each such appointed school board.
HB197 – Webert; VEA OPPOSES. Permits any school board to utilize the NWEA MAP Growth assessment program as an alternative to the through-year growth assessment system established by the Board of Education for the administration of reading and mathematics assessments in grades three through eight, provided that such program is aligned to the Standards of Learning.
HB251 – Simonds; VEA OPPOSES. Encourages each school board to enter into a collaborative agreement with the local governing body to set aside in a separate fund any sums appropriated to the school board by the local governing body that are unexpended by the school board in any year in order to use such sums to finance school maintenance, renovation, or construction in the local school division. The bill declares any school board that fails to enter into such a collaborative agreement ineligible to participate in any state grant, loan, or bond program that supports school maintenance, renovation, or construction. This bill is a recommendation of the Commission on School Construction and Modernization.
HB389 – Bulova; VEA SUPPORTS. Requires the Board of Education to establish a system of regional entities that will be responsible for coordinating early childhood care and education services, guiding quality improvement of such services and coordinated access to such services for families, and implementing the uniform measurement and improvement system. The bill establishes the Child Care Subsidy Program Overpayment Fund, consisting of all overpayment moneys collected or recovered by theDepartment of Education or any state or local agency contracted to administer the Child Care Subsidy Program, net of any refunds due to the federal government, to be used solely for the purpose of covering the cost of providing training and supports to early childhood care and education entities.
HB452 – Bennett-Parker; VEA SUPPORTS. Permits any local school board, notwithstanding any regulation to the contrary, to display decals, posters, and stickers on the sides and rear of school buses advertising the hiring of school bus drivers in the local school division, provided that the local school board is responsible for the cost of such decals, posters, and stickers and that no such deal, poster, or sticker obstructs the name of the school division or the number of the school bus.
HB559 – O’Quinn; VEA SUPPORTS. Provides that in any case in which a local school board enters into a comprehensive agreement with a private entity pursuant to the Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002 whereby the private entity finances the construction of a new public school building in the local school division through the issuance of bonds; leases the building to the local school board in an arrangement such as a certificate of participation, a double net lease, or a triple net lease; and expects the local school board to make lease payments in an annual amount that approximates or is equal to the annual debt service on such bonds, the Department of Education shall not consider 50 percent of such lease payments as capital outlay and debt service and therefore shall not subtract such payments in the biennial calculation of net local expenditures for operations required local effort for the purpose of determining such local school division’s composite index of local ability-to-pay, if so requested by the local school board.
HB563 – O’Quinn; VEA SUPPORTS. Establishes the School Construction Matching Grant Fund and Program for the purpose of awarding matching grants on a competitive basis to local school boards that demonstrate poor school building conditions, commitment, and need, based on certain enumerated factors, in order for such local school boards to fund the construction of new public school buildings in the local school division. The bill permits the Board of Education to transfer sums from the Literary Fund to the School ConstructionMatching Grant Fund and for the Department of Education to use such sums to provide matching grants pursuant to the Program.
HB608 – Bourne; VEA OPPOSES. Permits any school board to finance capital projects with any funds appropriated to it by the local governing body that are unexpended by the school board in any year. The bill is a recommendation of the Commission on School Construction and Modernization.
HB636 – Carr; VEA HAS NO POSITION. Requires the Board of Education, in consultation with the Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of Health, any other stakeholder that it deems appropriate, and the public, and in order to assist each local school board in developing and implementing a program of instruction for grades kindergarten through 12 that is aligned to the Standards of Learning and emphasizes environmental literacy as an essential skill and concept of citizenship that is necessary for responsible participation in American society and in the international community, to establish and update at least once every five years a Virginia student environmental literacy plan (the plan) that (i) prepares students to understand, analyze, and address the major environmental challenges facing the Commonwealth and the United States; (ii) provides field experiences as part of regular school curricula and creates programs that contribute to healthy lifestyles through outdoor recreation and sound nutrition; and (iii) creates opportunities for the enhanced and ongoing professional development of teachers that improves teachers’ environmental subject matter knowledge and pedagogical skills in teaching about environmental issues, including the use of interdisciplinary, field-based, and research-based learning and innovative technology in the classroom. The bill requires the plan to include a description of (a) how the Board will measure the environmental literacy of students, including relevant Standards of Learning and related curricula and courses or subjects where environmental education instruction will be integrated throughout grades kindergarten through 12 curricula, and the relationship of the plan to the high school graduation requirements established by the Board; (b) programs for the professional development of teachers to improve teachers’ environmental subject matter knowledge and pedagogical skills in teaching about environmental issues, including the use of interdisciplinary, field-based, and research-based learning and innovative technology in the classroom; and (c) how the Board will implement the plan, including securing funding and other necessary support. The bill establishes the Virginia Student Environmental Literacy Plan Grant Fund and Program, to be administered by the Department of Education, for the purpose of awarding grants on a competitive basis to any local school board that seeks assistance to initiate, expand, or improve teacher professional development opportunities or student environmental education programs that align with the content and objectives of the plan.
HB829 – Wilt; VEA HAS NO POSITION. Permits school boards to fulfill the staffing ratio requirements for school counselors by employing other licensed counseling professionals or providing other licensed counseling professionals through contracted services.
HB860 – Reid; VEA SUPPORTS. Establishes the Teacher Training Corps for the purpose of attracting and retaining public elementary and secondary school teachers in school divisions in the Commonwealth by awarding scholarships to students who obtain teaching degrees and certifications at participating institutions and requiring such students to fill teacher positions for specified periods of time at high-needs schools, as defined in the bill, and meet other requirements. The bill also establishes the Teacher TrainingCorps Scholarship Fund and Program for the purpose of funding such scholarships at the participating institutions of Longwood University, Norfolk State University, Radford University, and Virginia CommonwealthUniversity. Finally, the bill establishes the 12-member Teacher TrainingCorps Commission to administer the Teacher Training Corps Scholarship Program and directs the Commission to begin meeting on or after September 1, 2022, establish the parameters for the Program, and award the first scholarships pursuant to the Program prior to the beginning of the 2023-2024 academic year.
HB938 – Robinson; VEA OPPOSES. Requires the Board of Education to collaborate with the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Secretary of Education to evaluate, to implement where possible, and to otherwise make recommendations to the General Assembly regarding the following goals: (i) promoting excellence in instruction and student achievement in mathematics, including elimination of the Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative and an evaluation of any other proposed changes to the Mathematics Standards of Learning, in advance of the next revision of such standards by the Board, to maintain and increase the rigor of mathematics instruction in public elementary and secondary schools and permit students demonstrating aptitude and high achievement in mathematics to accelerate their progress through core mathematics classes and concepts and take advanced mathematics courses before the eleventh grade; (ii) increasing the number of academic year Governor’s Schools in the Commonwealth and maintaining standards of excellence for students in all such schools; (iii) preserving the Advanced Studies Diploma as an option for students in public high schools in the Commonwealth while maintaining or increasing course and credit requirements for such diploma; (iv) increasing the transparency and honesty of performance measures for public elementary and secondary schools in the Commonwealth and ensuring that such measures do not obscure or conceal disparities in performance among student groups; (v) ensuring that performance measures for public elementary and secondary schools prioritize the attainment of grade-level proficiency in reading and mathematics for all students, especially in grades kindergarten through five; (vi) ensuring that the Commonwealth’s proficiency standards on Standards of Learning assessments in reading and mathematics are rigorous in comparison with assessments administered by other states and national assessments in reading and mathematics; and (vii) restoring a strong accreditation system that promotes meaningful accountability year-over-year. The bill requires the Secretary of Education and the Superintendent of Public Instruction, no later than November 30, 2022, to report to the chairmen of the House Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Education and Health the results of such evaluation and recommendations to achieve such goals.
HB994 – Brewer; VEA HAS NO POSITION. Directs the Board of Education (the Board) to amend its regulations to permit all active-duty members of the Armed Forces of the United States who serve as caregivers to dependents to apply for the Child Care Subsidy Program. The bill directs the Board to adopt emergency regulations to implement the provisions of the bill.
HB1047 – Tran; VEA SUPPORTS. Provides that no student who needs or uses augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), which the bill defines as any device, tool, support, or service, or any combination thereof, that facilitates any form of communication, other than oral speech, that can be used to express thoughts, needs, wants, and ideas, shall be denied the opportunity for inclusion in regular classrooms or the provision of age-appropriate instruction on the basis that such student may require support with AAC. The bill prohibits any individualized education program team, member of such team, or school division employee from utilizing the results of any intelligence quotient test or any other test to measure intelligence or cognitive ability to determine a student with a disability’s eligibility to be provided with and use AAC at school. The bill requires each school division to document on the individualized education program of a student with a disability who needs or uses AAC, beginning prior to the provision of instruction or support to the student, including any extended school year period, the student’s AAC and communication access and support needs, including, as appropriate, individualized training as an assistive technology service for each school division employee or contractor who provides instruction or direct support to such student, to support the student’s use of AAC and to ensure that curricula and instruction are designed or adapted as necessary to accommodate the student’s unique communication access needs.
HB1064 – Brewer; VEA HAS NO POSITION. Establishes the Public School Trades Incentive Fund(the Fund) and the Public School Trades Incentive Program (the Program)for the purpose of providing grants on a competitive basis from theFund to any school board that seeks to (i) restore high school programs that teach students skilled trades that lead to earning industry-recognized certifications or credentials or (ii) create or restore middle school programs that encourage and recruit students to participate in high school programs that teach students skilled trades that lead to earning industry-recognized certifications or credentials. The bill requires the Department of Education to administer the Program and to establish such rules and procedures relating to applications and awards as it deems appropriate, provided that the Department considers and gives appropriate weight to certain criteria for grantees. The bill permits any grantee to use Program funds for equipment, curriculum development, or instructor training. The bill requires each grantee to longitudinally track students who complete any program for which the school board received funds in order to determine the effectiveness of the (a) new or restored middle school programs in recruiting students to participate in restored high school programs and (b) restored high school programs in matching students with high-paying jobs in the fields in which they are certified or credentialed.
HB1135 – Bourne; VEA SUPPORTS. Makes several changes to the Standards of Quality, including requiring the establishment of units in the Department of Education to oversee work-based learning and principal mentorship statewide and requiring the Board of Education to establish and oversee the local implementation of teacher leader and teacher mentor programs in Standard 5. The bill also makes several changes relating to school personnel in Standard 2, including (i) establishing schoolwide ratios of students to teachers in certain schools with high concentrations of poverty and granting flexibility to provide compensation adjustments to teachers in such schools; (ii) requiring each school board to assign licensed personnel in a manner that provides an equitable distribution of experienced, effective teachers and other personnel among all schools in the local school division; (iii) requiring each school board to employ teacher leaders and teacher mentors at specified student-to-position ratios; (iv) requiring state funding in addition to basic aid to support at-risk students and granting flexibility in the use of such funds by school boards; (v) lowering the ratio of English language learner students to teachers; (vi) requiring each school board to employ reading specialists and establishing a student-to-position ratio for such specialists; (vii) requiring school boards to employ one full-time principal in each elementary school; (viii) lowering the ratio of students to assistant principals and school counselors in elementary, middle, and high schools; and (ix) increasing from at least three to at least four the required number of specialized student support positions, including school social workers, school psychologists, school nurses, licensed behavior analysts, licensed assistant behavior analysts, and other licensed health and behavioral positions, per 1,000 students.
HB1215 – Ransone; VEA OPPOSES. Public middle schools; physical education to include public safety training. Summary: Physical education; public safety training.
HB1246 – Tran; VEA SUPPORTS. Adds several provisions relatingto the accessibility of each digital tool, defined in the bill asan online platform, a course, a digital application, information and communication technology services, and digital content, to beused in the instruction of public elementary and secondary schoolstudents, including requiring (i) the Department of Education to establishand revise when necessary guidelines for local school divisions thatgovern the purchase of accessible digital tools to be used in studentinstruction and (ii) except in certain limited circumstances, theprocurement process utilized by each local school division for thepurchase of a digital tool initiated on or after September 1, 2022,to require (a) the digital tool procured to meet or exceed the Department’sstandards; (b) each digital tool vendor to submit a voluntary productaccessibility template prepared by a third-party professional accessibilitytester to demonstrate how the digital tool conforms to the Department’sstandards and to remedy any nonconforming digital tool within 180days of receipt of notice of such nonconformity from the local schooldivision at any time during the term of the contract; and (c) eachdigital tool vendor to indemnify the local school board for liability resulting from the use of a procured digital tool that fails to meetthe relevant federal accessibility standard, including nonvisualaccess.
HB1284 – Taylor; VEA HAS NO POSITON. Requires election as the method of selecting the members of each school board in the Commonwealth. Current law requires such members to be appointed but permits their election under certain circumstances.
HB113 – March; VEA OPPOSES. Permits local school boards, notwithstanding any regulation to the contrary, to display on the sides and rear of public school buses decals containing the motto “In God We Trust” or the phrase “One Nation Under God”, provided that no such deconstructs the name of the school division or the number of the school bus.
HB217 – Simonds; VEA SUPPORTS. Requires the Virginia STEM Education Advisory Board (the Board) to (i) review the occupational categories in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’standard occupational classification system to determine the occupational categories that are not properly captured in the Commonwealth’s existingSTEM+C workforce profile and the gaps in the Commonwealth’s tracking of careers in these occupational categories for the purpose of better aligning education priorities and the Board’s tracking and coordination of STEM+C and (ii) share its findings with the VirginiaEconomic Development Partnership Authority’s Office of Education and Labor Market Alignment (the Office) to include in the Office’s efforts to specifically align STEM+C workforce and education. The bill requires the Board, in conducting such review, to focus on occupational categories such as advanced manufacturing, agriculture, financial systems, health care, military, and K%9616 education careers that are not currently tracked or categorized by the U.S. Bureau of LaborStatistics as STEM+C career fields. The bill also requires the Board to submit its findings and any recommendations to the General Assembly no later than October 1, 2022.
HB221 – Davis; VEA SUPPORTS. Adds science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and computing (STEM+C), which includes real-world, interdisciplinary, and computational instruction and preparation of students in STEM+C, to the list of topics that shall be included in the Standards of Learning for theCommonwealth. The bill also directs the Virginia STEM Education advisory board to develop and submit to the Board of Education (i) a rubric that shall be used by the Board of Education in setting out what factors permit a school to be defined as a STEM school and (ii) recommendations for the Board to create a measurement for the quality of STEM programming in general education instruction. The bill also directs the VirginiaSTEM Education Advisory Board to draft and report to the Department of Education proposed common language and terminology that better defines the basic literacies employed in STEM+C as methodological approaches to solving universal human challenges and, as essential, generalizable, and transferable literacy toward the application of skills and content needed to solve those challenges. The bill also directs the Department of Education, based on such proposed language and terminology, and no later than December 1, 2022, to recommend finalized language and terminology to the Board of Education.
HB223 – Coyner; VEA HAS NO POSITION. Provides that any locality may provide group life, accident, and health insurance programs for employees of certain public school foundations.
HB340 – Davis; VEA HAS NO POSITION. Directs the Board of Education to establish pathways to the advanced studies high school diploma, and associated diploma seals for students who successfully follow and demonstrate excellence on such pathways, that require advanced coursework in career and technical education in lieu of world language courses or any other required course that the Board deems appropriate. The bill requires such pathways and diploma seals to become effective for the 2023-2024school year and to be available to any student, regardless of the school year during which the student enters ninth grade.
HB533 – Batten; VEA OPPOSES. Requires each school board to enter into an agreement, upon request, with a public elementary or secondary school teacher or a group of such teachers in a local school division who represents more than 20 students to establish an opportunity classroom, which the bill defines as a classroom in which a curriculum in English, mathematics, science, history and social science, and any other subject area, as set forth in such agreement, is offered that is different than any curriculum that is otherwise offered in such subject areas in the local school division. The bill permits each school board to enter into such agreement for an opportunity classroom if the requesting teacher or group of teachers represents fewer than 20 students. The bill contains requirements for such agreements to establish opportunity classrooms and provisions relating to funding for opportunity classrooms and for services, transportation, and assessments for students who are enrolled in an opportunity classroom.
HB585 – VanValkenburg; VEA SUPPORTS. Requires, except for those middle and high school students with significant cognitive disabilities who participate in an alternate assessment, each student in middle and high school to take only those end-of-course Standards of Learning assessments necessary to meet federal accountability requirements and Virginia high school graduation requirements. The bill requires the Department of Education, in addition to such assessments, to develop or adopt and require each high school student to take, during junior year or at such other time as may be appropriate, statewide skills-based and performance-based end-of-course assessments in biology and U.S. history that are aligned to the Standards of Learning for each such subject. The bill requires each such assessment to be graded by the Department of Education according to statewide grading rubrics. The bill requires student performance on each such assessment to account for 10 percent of the student’s final grade in each such course. The foregoing provisions of the bill have a delayed effective date of July 1, 2027, and the bill provides that the first such assessments shall be administered during the spring of the 2027-2028 school year. The bill further requires the Department of Education to (i) semiannually publish on a publicly accessible portion of its website sample statewide skills-based and performance-based end-of-course assessments in biology and U.S. history during the 2022-2023 through 2026-2027 school years and (ii) annually administer a pilot program during the 2023-2024 through 2026-2027 school years whereby it administers skills-based and performance-based end-of-course assessments in biology and U.S. history to high school juniors in select school divisions to determine the validity of such assessments and make such adjustments as may be necessary before the first such assessments are administered statewide during the spring of the 2027-2028 school year.
HB873 – Greenhalgh; VEA OPPOSES. Requires each school board to enter into a collaborative agreement with the local law enforcement agency to employ at least one school resource officer in each public elementary and secondary school in the local school division. The bill provides that no school board shall be granted any full or partial waiver from such staffing requirements and that no school board that fails to fully comply with such staffing requirements is eligible for any grant or waiver from the Commonwealth, Board of Education, or Department of Education. The bill also requires each division superintendent to include on the threat assessment team established for each public elementary and secondary school in the local school division at least one school resource officer employed in the school.
HB1032 – LaRock; VEA OPPOSES. Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop and distribute to each local school board and each such school board to enforce throughout the local school division mandatory statewide standards for evaluating, classifying, and removing from any public elementary or secondary school library any explicit material. The bill also permits the Office of the Attorney General to enforce compliance with such standards in any local school division. The bill also establishes means and processes for the review of education materials and the review and approval of library materials by parents, including requiring the parents of all students who attend a public elementary or secondary school to comprise the Parental Review and Approval Committee for such school and requiring such Committee to review and vote to approve or disapprove of each item on a list of proposed library materials distributed to it by the school.
HB1100 – LaRock; VEA SUPPORTS. Requires the Board of Education(the Board) to make recommendations to the General Assembly for amendments to the Standards of Quality to establish standards for the maintenance and operations, renovation, and new construction of public elementary and secondary school buildings. The bill requires such recommendations to include standards for the percentage of the current replacement value of a public school building that a school board should budget for the maintenance and operations of the building and such other standards as the Board deems appropriate. The bill also requires the Board to solicit the input of relevant stakeholders and the public in developing such recommendations. Finally, the bill requires the board to submit its recommendations to the Chairmen of the House Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Education and Health later than December 1, 2022. This bill is a recommendation of the Commission on School Construction and Modernization.
HB1125 – Anderson; VEA HAS NO POSITION. Requires, within four hours of receiving notification of (i) a preliminary determination by the threat assessment team that a student poses a threat of violence or physical harm to self or others; (ii) threatening or aberrant behavior that may represent a threat to the school; or(iii) unlawful acts committed on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored activity that involve the unlawful use or possession of a weapon, homicide, criminal sexual assault, or trespassing, each division superintendent to notify the parent of each student enrolled in the relevant school of such threat, threatening or aberrant behavior, or unlawful act. The bill requires each school board to equip each public elementary and secondary school building in the local school division with at least one panic alarm that adheres to nationally recognized industry standards, including the standards of the National Fire Protection Association and Underwriters Laboratories and is installed by a licensed and qualified professional. The bill defines “panic alarm” as a silent security system by which the user manually activates a device that sends a non-audible signal to the local law-enforcement agency that indicates a school security emergency, including a non-fire evacuation, lockdown, or active shooter situation, that requires immediate response and assistance from such agency.
HB1299 – Coyner; VEA SUPPORTS. Requires the Department of Education to collect and distribute to public schools and publicly post on its website information that assists high school students in making more informed decisions about their futures after graduating from high school and in doing so ensure that such students are aware of the costs and benefits of different educational and certificate programs. The bill directs the Department to annually collect and compile such information in consultation with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and any other entity that can assist the Department with collecting and compiling such information and to update its distribution materials accordingly each year. The bill requires the department to post and distribute the information to school boards, with any relevant updates, no later than October 1 each year and requires each school board to ensure that the information is readily available to each high school student and distributed to each high school student who expresses an interest in attending an institution of higher education or completing another training program as described in the bill.
HB1347 – LaRock; VEA OPPOSES Requires each school board that offers a family life education curriculum to limit instruction delivered to students pursuant to such curriculum to one hour per school year in each grade level.