VanValkenburg’s Reduction in Testing Bill Wins Senate Finance Committee Approval
March 2, 2022
March 2, 2022
Today, HB 585, sponsored by Delegate VanValkenburg won Senate Finance Committee approval by unanimous vote. The bill requires:
View Delegate VanValkenburg’s explanation of HB585 before the Senate Education and Health Committee, HERE.
The VEA has a longstanding position on the issue of high-stakes testing reduction. The 2022 VEA Legislative Agenda calls on the initiation of legislation to reduce the total number and type of required Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments to the minimum federal requirements. We applaud Delegate VanValkenburg for carrying HB585 to begin the process of reducing high-stakes standardized tests.
The House and Senate appropriation committees released their proposed budgets on February 20. Each body made some new investments in public education and the House, overall, made large cuts to Virginia’s schools. Like Governor Northam’s proposed budget, both new budgets fall short in funding the Virginia Board of Education-prescribed Standards of Quality (SOQs) – the minimum recommended standards by our state’s education experts.
Based on topline numbers released Sunday, the Senate budget invests hundreds of millions of additional dollars in K-12 schools, while the House budget cuts $638 million in state direct aid.
The average per-pupil state direct aid reduction in the House budget was $525 but was more than three times larger in the 20% of school divisions with the highest share of student poverty ($1,023), than in divisions with the lowest share ($325). Additionally, the cuts in state direct aid in the House budget hit rural school divisions particularly hard, averaging $836 per student versus only $442 for non-rural school divisions.
The VEA has prepared a number of documents to assist our members and stakeholders in understanding the House and Senate budget proposals.
The VEA encourages members and stakeholders to share this information with their respective constituencies.