Reduction In Testing Bill Passes; Budget Conference Underway
March 8, 2022
March 8, 2022
Monday, the Senate passed by a narrow vote of 20-19, HB585, sponsored by Delegate Schuyler VanValkenburg. The House of Delegates then approved the measure by a unanimous vote of 97-0. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk for his signature.
The bill requires:
House and Senate conferees have begun meeting to hash out the conference budget. As Senate Democrats and House Republicans meet to hash out their differences, the word on the street is that the top items up for discussion will be the standard deduction, education, and health priorities.
VEA members and other coalition partners have been meeting with lawmakers and pushing hard to include the full At-Risk Add-On amount included in the introduced and Senate budgets. On school construction, we noted room for compromise by adopting the House selection criteria, which includes a share of students living in poverty and school infrastructure conditions, instead of using the Local Composite Index as suggested by the Senate. See TCI side-by-side budget comparison to better understand budget details described below.
The Fund Our Schools Coalition, of which VEA is a coordinating member, has updated its Take Action page with rotating emails going to budget conferees asking them to prioritize K-12 funding in the final budget. Feel free to share this link or reshare social media messages going out via FOS Twitter, Instagram and Facebook asking folks to take action.
The VEA has also been reaching out to members to call key conferees, asking them to prioritize K-12 funding over more tax cuts and to hold the line on key priorities. VEA has also been having members send emails to conferees if they are constituents. (see a list of budget conferees and contact information below)
Robert S. Bloxom Jr. R 100 (804) 698-1000 DelRBloxom@house.virginia.gov
Luke E. Torian D 52 (804) 698-1052 DelLTorian@house.virginia.gov
Emily M. Brewer R 64 (804) 698-1064 DelEBrewer@house.virginia.gov
Mark D. Sickles D 43 (804) 698-1043 DelMSickles@house.virginia.gov
Terry L. Austin R 19 (804) 698-1019 DelTAustin@house.virginia.gov
Barry D. Knight R 81 (804) 698-1081 DelBKnight@house.virginia.gov
Emmett W. Hanger, Jr. R 24 (804) 698-7524 email@example.com
George L. Barker D 39 (804) 698-7539 firstname.lastname@example.org
Janet D. Howell D 32 (804) 698-7532 email@example.com
Louise Lucas D 18 (804) 698-7518 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mamie E. Locke D 2 (804) 698-7502 email@example.com
Richard L. Saslaw D 35 (804) 698-7535 firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephen D. Newman R 23 (804) 698-7523 email@example.com
Thomas K. Norment, Jr. R 3 (804) 698-7503 firstname.lastname@example.org
What can you do on budget advocacy?
Thanks to all of the members here for your incredible advocacy this session working to advance good school funding bills and killing many (many!) bills that would have redirected public school funding or restricted teaching of honest history.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, teachers in Virginia earn 32.7% less in weekly wages than other (non-teacher) college-educated workers. Virginia’s teacher wage penalty is the worst in the nation.Take Action Now