2021 General Assembly

The General Assembly is Virginia’s legislative body. The General Assembly’s 2021 Regular Session will convene on Wednesday, January 13, 2021. In even numbered years, the General Assembly session is scheduled to last 60 days. In odd numbered years, the session is scheduled to last 30 days. The General Assembly has the option to extend its session by a maximum of 30 days each year.

The following is a list of bills that have been introduced in the 2021 General Assembly which may impact Frederick County Public Schools. The list may not represent every education-related bill, but includes legislation being monitored by school officials.

2021 General Assembly Bills Which May Impact FCPS
Bill Number Description
HB 1736 School nurses; excludes positions from certain requirements, school board to employ in each school.
School personnel; school nurses. Excludes school nurse positions from requirements for student support positions and instead requires 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. The bill defines a school nurse as a registered nurse engaged in the specialized practice of nursing who protects and promotes student health, facilitates optimal development, and advances academic success.
HB 1742
In-person instruction; education vouchers, etc.
In-person instruction; education vouchers; emergency. Requires, in the event that any school board does not provide the option of in-person instruction as the sole method of instruction for any enrolled student, the parent of any such student who withdraws his child from attendance to receive, upon request, an education voucher in an amount equal to a prorated share of the applicable Standards of Quality per-pupil state funds appropriated for public school purposes and apportioned to the school division, including the per-pupil share of state sales tax funding in basic aid and any state per-pupil share of special education funding for which the child is eligible, to cover the expenses of providing in-person instruction in an alternative setting. The bill permits the Department of Education to establish rules, regulations, or procedures for the issuance of such education vouchers. The bill contains an emergency clause.
HB 1800
Budget Bill.
Budget Bill. Amends Chapter 56 of the 2020 Special Session I Acts of Assembly.
HB 1823 Public schools, child day programs, and certain other programs; carbon monoxide detectors required.
Public schools, child day programs, and certain other programs; carbon monoxide detectors required. Requires each building that was built before 2015 and that houses any public school classroom for students, licensed child day program, or other program that serves preschool-age children to be equipped with at least one carbon monoxide detector.
HB 1826 Education, Board of; qualifications of members.
Board of Education; membership; qualifications. Requires the nine-member Board of Education to include at least one member with experience or expertise in local government leadership or policymaking, at least one member with experience or expertise in career and technical education, and at least one member with experience or expertise in early childhood education, all of whom are appointed by the Governor.
HB 1827 Education, Board of; geographic representation of members.
Board of Education; membership; geographic representation. Requires the nine-member Board of Education to include at least five members, appointed by the Governor, who each reside in different superintendent's regions in the Commonwealth.
HB 1865 Certain students in kindergarten through grade 3; reading intervention services.
Certain students in kindergarten through grade 3; reading intervention services. Requires reading intervention services for students in kindergarten through grade three who demonstrate deficiencies based on their individual performance on the Standards of Learning reading test or any reading diagnostic test that meets criteria established by the Department of Education to be evidence-based and aligned with the science of reading and structured literacy approaches, both defined in the bill, and to include the components of effective reading instruction and explicit, systematic, sequential, and cumulative instruction. The bill requires the parent of each student who receives such reading intervention services to be notified before the services begin and the progress of each such student to be monitored throughout the provision of services. The bill also requires the Department of Education, no later than the beginning of the 2021%962022 school year, to compile and provide to each local school division a list of materials, resources, and curriculum programs that are supported by the science of reading and based on instruction that is explicit, systematic, cumulative, and diagnostic, including (i) evidence-based dyslexia programs that are aligned to structured literacy or grounded in the Orton-Gillingham methodology and (ii) evidence-based reading intervention programs, including programs that are grounded in the science of reading.
HB 1885 Department of Education; comprehensive review of computer science standards, courses, and pathways.
Department of Education; comprehensive review of computer science standards, courses, and pathways in public schools; report. Requires the Department of Education to perform a comprehensive review of the ongoing implementation of mandatory computer science standards in elementary schools and middle schools and the alignment of middle school and high school computer science courses and course pathways. The bill requires such review to include recommendations for implementation processes at the local level, profiles of implementation processes that have been successful for school divisions, a description of opportunities for enhanced collaboration with relevant computer science stakeholders to expand computer science education opportunities for all students in the Commonwealth and for relevant professional development for teachers, and examining methods of data collection annually from local school divisions pertaining to computer science implementation. The bill requires the Department of Education to prepare a report on its comprehensive review and provide such report to the Chairmen of the House Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Education and Health, the Secretary of Education, and the Superintendent of Public Instruction no later than November 1, 2021.
HB 1904 Teachers and other licensed school board employees; cultural competency.
Teachers and other licensed school board employees; cultural competency. The bill requires teacher, principal, and division superintendent evaluations to include an evaluation of cultural competency. The bill requires every person seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license from the Board of Education (i) to complete instruction or training in cultural competency and (ii) with an endorsement in history and social sciences to complete instruction in African American history, as prescribed by the Board. The bill also requires each school board to adopt and implement policies that require each teacher and any other school board employee holding a license issued by the Board to complete cultural competency training, in accordance with guidance issued by the Board, at least every two years.
HB 1905 Economic education and financial literacy required in middle and high school grades; employment.
Economic education and financial literacy required in middle and high school grades; employment arrangements. Adds to objectives developed and approved by the Board of Education for economics education and financial literacy at the middle and high school levels the implications of various employment arrangements with regard to benefits, protections, and long-term financial sustainability. Employment arrangements is defined in the bill as full-time employment, part-time employment, independent contract work, gig work, piece work, contingent work, day labor work, freelance work, and 1099 work.
HB 1909 Certain school board property; establishment of gun-free zone permitted.
Certain school board property; establishment of gun-free zone permitted. Permits any school board to deem any non-school zone property that it owns or leases as a gun-free zone and prohibit any individual from knowingly possessing any firearm designed or intended to expel a projectile by action of an explosion of a combustible material while such individual is upon such property, except certain individuals such as law-enforcement officers and qualified retired law-enforcement officers.
HB 1915 Teacher compensation; at or above national average.
Teacher compensation; at or above national average. 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 2022-23 school year through the 2026-27 school year. The bill has a delayed effective date of July 1, 2022.
HB 1918 Student driver safety.
Student driver safety. Adopts measures aimed at improving student driver safety. The bill requires curriculum for tenth grade health at public schools to include instruction on the dangers of distracted driving and speeding, to be developed by the Department of Education. Finally, the bill requires that a student show proof of a valid driver's license or driver privilege card before being issued a school parking pass at a public high school and that schools use a common application for such parking passes.
HB 1924 Required local effort for basic aid; debt service on projects in certain school divisions.
Required local effort for basic aid; debt service on projects in certain school divisions. Permits any local school board that governs a school division (i) 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 Comparative Revenue Capacity, Revenue Effort, and Fiscal Stress of Virginia Counties and Cities" and (ii) 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 provides 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 also provides that in the event that a school division that no longer met such criteria subsequently meets the criteria again after developing a plan, the local school board may seek the approval of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to amend such plan. The bill has an expiration date of July 1, 2033.
HB 1929 School Equity and Staffing Act; Standards of Quality; work-based learning; teacher leaders and men
School Equity and Staffing Act; Standards of Quality; work-based learning; teacher leaders and mentors; principal mentors; certain personnel positions and initiatives. 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 in Standard 1 and requiring the Board of Education to establish and oversee the local implementation of teacher leader and teacher mentor programs in Standard 5. The bill 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) requiring each school board to provide at least four 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.
HB 1931 Virginia Freedom of Information Act; electronic meetings.
Virginia Freedom of Information Act; electronic meetings. Authorizes a public body to conduct through electronic communication means a meeting for which, on or before the day of the meeting, a member of the public body holding the meeting notifies the chair that such member is unable to attend the meeting due to a family member's medical condition that requires the member to provide care for such family member, thereby preventing the member's physical attendance. The bill also clarifies that participation in an electronic meeting by a member of a public body due to the inability to attend because of a personal matter is limited each calendar year to two such meetings, which is current law, or 25 percent of the meetings held that calendar year rounded up to the next whole number, whichever is greater.
HB 1940 Department of Education; guidelines on excused student absences; civic or political engagement.
Department of Education; guidelines on excused student absences; civic or political engagement. Requires, subject to guidelines established by the Department of Education, any middle school or high school student who is absent from school to engage in a civic or political event to be granted an excused absence.
HB 1947 Board of Education; high school graduation requirements; certain substitutions.
Board of Education; high school graduation requirements; certain substitutions. Requires the Board of Education, in establishing high school graduation requirements, to provide for the substitution of computer coding course credit for any foreign language course credit required to graduate with a standard or advanced diploma for children with disabilities. Such requirement replaces a narrower provision in current law that requires the Board to permit a student who is pursuing an advanced diploma and whose individualized education program specifies a credit accommodation for world language to substitute two standard units of credit in computer science for two standard units of credit in a world language.
HB 1997 Virginia Freedom of Information Act; definition of 'meeting'.
Virginia Freedom of Information Act; definition of "meeting." Increases from three to four the number of members of a public body meeting as an informal assemblage that constitutes a meeting under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.
HB 1998 Public schools; lock-down drills; annual requirement.
Public schools; lock-down drills; annual requirement. Reduces from three to two the minimum number of mandatory annual lock-down drills in each public elementary and secondary school in the Commonwealth.
HB 2000 Virginia Freedom of Information Act; charges for production of public records.
Virginia Freedom of Information Act; charges for production of public records. Prohibits a public body from charging a requester for any costs incurred during the first two hours spent accessing or searching for requested records when such requester has made four or fewer individual records requests to such public body within 31 consecutive days. The bill provides that for any additional time spent accessing or searching for such records, or when such requester makes five or more individual records requests to such public body within any 31-consecutive-day period, the public body shall not charge an hourly rate for accessing or searching for the records exceeding the lesser of the hourly rate of pay of the lowest-paid individual capable of fulfilling the request or $33 per hour. The bill also requires public bodies to post on their website or otherwise publish a written policy (a) explaining how the public body assesses charges for accessing or searching for requested records and (b) noting the current fee charged, if any, by the public body for accessing and searching for the requested records.
HB 2003 Consumer Protection Act; prohibited practices; certain advertising related to school quality.
Consumer Protection Act; prohibited practices; certain advertising related to school quality. Adds as a prohibited practice under the Consumer Protection Act the use in any advertising of any information regarding the quality of any public or private elementary or secondary school other than information derived from the school quality indicators contained in the School Quality Profiles established by the Department of Education or information derived from a school's website or the website of the school's district. The bill provides that the prohibition applies to real estate licensees.
HB 2013 School board policies; school meal debt; enforcement.
School board policies; school meal debt; enforcement. Requires each school board to adopt a policy that prohibits the board from filing a lawsuit against a student's parent because the student cannot pay for a meal at school or owes a school meal debt.
HB 2019 Public elementary and secondary schools; possession and administration of undesignated stock.
Public elementary and secondary schools; possession and administration of undesignated stock albuterol inhalers and valved holding chambers. Requires each local school board to adopt and implement policies for the possession and administration of undesignated stock albuterol inhalers and valved holding chambers in every public school in the local school division, to be administered by any school nurse, employee of the school board, employee of a local governing body, or employee of a local health department who is authorized by the local health director and trained in the administration of albuterol inhalers and valved holding chambers for any student believed in good faith to be in need of such medication.
HB 2027 Standards of Learning assessments; reading and mathematics; grades three through eight.
Standards of Learning assessments; reading and mathematics; grades three through eight; individual student growth. Requires, no later than the 2024-2025 school year, each reading and mathematics Standards of Learning assessment for students in grades three through eight to (i) be administered three times per school year, at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of each school year, for the purpose of providing measures of individual student growth over the course of the school year and (ii) provide accurate measurement of a student's performance outside of his grade level through the incorporation, through computer adaptive technology, of test items at grade levels below and above the tested level. The bill requires any student growth data to include such measurement of outside-of-grade-level performance. The bill requires the Department of Education to ensure adequate training for teachers and principals on how to interpret and use student growth data from such assessments to improve reading and mathematics instruction in grades three through eight throughout the school year. The bill prohibits the total time spent taking each such assessment over each of the three annual administrations from exceeding 150 percent of the time spent taking a single end-of-year proficiency assessment.
HB 2058 Virginia STEM Education Advisory Board; established; report.
Virginia STEM Education Advisory Board; established; report. Creates the Virginia Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Advisory Board to create a unified vision regarding STEM education initiatives, language, and measures of success to promote a culture of collaboration for STEM programming in the Commonwealth. The Board shall develop the infrastructure for creating STEM Regional Hubs and naming STEM Champions in communities across the Commonwealth. Additionally, the Board shall report annually to the Governor and the General Assembly on STEM challenges, goals, and successes across the Commonwealth.
HB 2090 School boards; establishment of the READ Fund and READ programs.
School boards; establishment of the READ Fund and READ programs. Establishes the Reimbursement for Education Access Decisions (READ) Fund (the Fund); permits any school board to establish a READ program to provide, during the state of emergency declared by the Governor in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, funds to any parent or legal guardian who meets compulsory attendance requirements by having his child taught by a tutor or teacher of qualifications prescribed by the Board of Education and approved by the division superintendent in lieu of enrollment in the local school division to cover certain costs of such education; and permits any such school board to apply to the Department of Education for an award from the Fund to reimburse the school board for half of the cost of making reimbursements to parents pursuant to its READ program. The bill provides that the school board is responsible for covering the remaining half of the cost of its READ program with such federal and local funds as may be available for such purpose. The bill permits the Department of Education to establish such rules and procedures as it deems necessary for receiving applications for reimbursement and making awards from the Fund. The bill also provides that if federal funding is provided pursuant to an Act of Congress with regard to relief from the COVID-19 pandemic and such Act does not preclude such federal funding from being used to make awards from the Fund, the Governor shall reserve a reasonable amount of such federal funding to be credited to the Fund to fully support reimbursement requests from such school boards.
HB 2093 Department of Education; School Construction Fund and Program.
Department of Education; School Construction Fund and Program. Establishes the School Construction Fund as a special nonreverting fund in the state treasury and requires the Department of Education to establish the School Construction Program for the purpose of providing grants from the Fund, subject to certain conditions, to school boards that leverage federal, state, and local programs and resources to finance the design and construction of new school buildings and facilities or the modernization and maintenance of existing school buildings and facilities.
HB 2094 Public schools; Standards of Learning assessments; reduction.
Public schools; Standards of Learning assessments; reduction. Reduces the total number and type of required Standards of Learning assessments to the minimum requirements established by the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended.
HB 2103 Paid sick time.
Paid sick time. Requires public and private employers with 35 or more full-time equivalent employees to provide eligible employees, defined in the bill, with earned paid sick time and paid sick time. The bill provides for an eligible employee to earn up to 40 hours of earned paid sick time depending on the amount of hours the eligible employee has averaged over the previous year or, for a new employee, is projected to work. An eligible employee shall not earn or use more than 40 hours of earned paid sick time in a year, unless the employer selects a higher limit. The bill provides that earned paid sick time may be used (i) for an eligible employee's mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; an eligible employee's need for medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; or an eligible employee's need for preventive medical care; or (ii) to provide care to an eligible employee's family member, defined in the bill, under similar circumstances. The bill prohibits employers from taking certain retaliatory actions against employees related to earned paid sick leave and authorizes the Commissioner of Labor and Industry, in the case of a knowing violation, to subject an employer to a civil penalty not to exceed $150 for the first violation, $300 for the second violation, and $500 for each successive violation, if the second or successive violation occurs within two years of the previous violation. The Commissioner of Labor and Industry may institute proceedings on behalf of an employee to enforce compliance with this bill and to collect specified amounts from the employer, which shall be awarded to the employee. Alternatively, an aggrieved employee is authorized to bring a civil action against the employer in which he may recover double the amount of any unpaid earned sick time and the amount of any actual damages suffered as the result of the employer's violation. However, an aggrieved employee is required to seek redress through the employer's human resources department prior to filing an administrative complaint or civil action. The bill has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2023.
HB 2105 Early childhood education; quality rating and improvement system participation.
Early childhood education; quality rating and improvement system participation; School Readiness Committee. Delays until the 2022-2023 school year the requirement for all publicly funded early childhood education providers to participate in a quality rating and improvement system to be established by the Board of Education by July 1, 2021. The bill also delays from the fall of 2023 to the fall of 2024 the publication of initial quality ratings for such providers. The bill reinstates the School Readiness Committee and alters the composition and scope of the work of the School Readiness Committee.
HB 2117 Children's Services Act; special education programs.
Children's Services Act; special education programs. Requires that funds expended for special education services under the Children's Services Act only be expended on educational programs that are licensed by the Department of Education. The bill adds children and youth previously placed in approved private school educational programs for at least six months, who will receive transitional services in a public school setting for no longer than 12 months, to the target population for eligibility for the state pool of funds. The bill requires the Secretary of Education, in conjunction with the Office of Children's Services and the Department of Education, to establish a work group (the Work Group) with appropriate stakeholders to develop a detailed plan to direct the transfer of Children's Services Act funds currently reserved for children requiring an educational placement in a private special education day school or residential facility to the Department of Education and to develop a standardized reporting process, template, and reporting requirement for private special education day school tuition rates to ensure that tuition rates can be accurately compared across schools and over time. The bill requires that the Work Group submit its plan and recommendations to the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations and Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations by November 1, 2021.
HB 2119 Student driver education program; parent participation exemption.
Student driver education program; parent participation exemption. Exempts students who are (i) at least 18 years old, (ii) emancipated minors, or (iii) unaccompanied minors who are not in the physical custody of their parent or guardian from the requirement that the student's parent participate in the parent/student component of a school's driver education program. This parent/student component is required in Planning District 8, where the component must be in-person training. In the other school divisions that choose to offer this optional parent/student component, the parent/student component may be administered either in person or online.
HB 2135 Certain school boards; student meals; participation in the Afterschool Meal Program.
Certain school boards; student meals; participation in the Afterschool Meal Program. Requires each school board that governs a local school division that has a student population that qualifies for free and reduced-price meals at a minimum percentage of 50 percent in the prior school year and simultaneously offers educational or enrichment activities and is consequently eligible to participate in the Afterschool Meal Program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Child and Adult Care Food Program to apply to the Department of Education to participate in the Afterschool Meal Program for each such school to subsequently and simultaneously serve federally reimbursable meals and offer an afterschool education or enrichment program, pursuant to FNS guidelines and state health and safety standards. The bill requires the Department of Education to administer the Afterschool Meal Program on behalf of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The bill provides that the Superintendent of Public Instruction shall issue a waiver to this requirement upon determination that participation is not financially viable for a school or group of schools. The bill requires the Department of Education to develop a process and criteria for evaluating such waivers. The bill has a delayed effective date of July 1, 2022.
HB 2137 Paid sick leave.
Paid sick leave. Requires employers to provide certain employees paid sick leave. An employee is eligible for paid sick leave under the bill if the employee is an essential worker and works on average at least 20 hours per week or 90 hours per month. The bill provides for an employee to earn at least one hour of paid sick leave benefit for every 30 hours worked. An employee shall not use more than 40 hours of earned paid sick leave in a year, unless the employer selects a higher limit. The bill provides that earned paid sick leave may be used for (i) an employee's mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; an employee's need for medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; or an employee's need for preventive medical care or (ii) care of a family member with a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; care of a family member who needs medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; or care of a family member who needs preventive medical care. The bill prohibits employers from taking certain retaliatory actions against employees related to leave. The bill provides for a hardship waiver for employers that demonstrate that providing paid sick leave threatens the financial viability of the employer, jeopardizes the ability of the employer to sustain operations, significantly degrades the quality of the employer's business operations, or creates a significant negative financial impact on the employer. The bill requires the Commissioner of Labor and Industry to promulgate regulations that (a) identify workers as essential based on the categories listed in the bill; (b) include reasonable requirements for recordkeeping, confidentiality, and notifying employees of their rights under provisions of the bill; (c) establish complaint, investigation, and enforcement procedures that include fines, not to exceed $500, for violations of provisions of the bill; (d) establish requirements for compensation and accrual of paid sick leave for employees employed and compensated on a fee-for-service basis; and (e) include procedures and requirements for an employer to qualify for a hardship waiver.
HB 2176 School board policies; abusive work environments; definitions.
School board policies; abusive work environments; definitions. Defines, for the purposes of mandatory school board policies relating to abusive work environments, the terms "abusive conduct," "abusive work environment," "physical harm," and "psychological harm."
HB 2182 Board of Education; definition of 'traumatic brain injury.'
Board of Education; definition of "traumatic brain injury." Requires the Board of Education to amend its regulatory definition of "traumatic brain injury," for the purpose of the provision of special education for children with disabilities, to include an acquired injury to the brain caused by a medical condition, including stroke, anoxia, infectious disease, aneurysm, brain tumors, and neurological insults resulting from medical or surgical treatments. The current regulatory definition of "traumatic brain injury" includes only an acquired brain injury caused by an external physical force.
HB 2211 Individualized education programs; identification of necessary additional services and referrals.
Individualized education programs; identification of necessary additional services and referrals. Requires individualized education program teams to identify any children with disabilities who may need additional services outside of the school setting and refer them to the local family assessment and planning team.
HB 2225 Empowerment Scholarship Accounts established.
Empowerment Scholarship Accounts established. Permits the parents of certain children to apply to the school division in which the child resides for a one-year, renewable Empowerment Scholarship 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 apportioned to the resident school division in which the student resides, including the per pupil share of state sales tax funding in basic aid and any state per pupil share of special education funding for which the student is eligible. The bill permits the parent to use the moneys in such account for certain education-related expenses of the student, including tuition and fees at a private elementary school or secondary school that is located in the Commonwealth. The bill also contains provisions relating to auditing, rescinding, and reviewing expenses made from such accounts.
HB 2244 Family life education curriculum guidelines; human reproduction; viewing of ultrasound video.
Family life education curriculum guidelines; human reproduction; viewing of ultrasound video recording. Requires the instruction on human reproduction contained in the Board of Education's family life education curriculum guidelines to include the viewing of a video recording of an ultrasound of a live unborn human in the uterus.
HB 2247 Board of Education; school division boundaries; conditions and considerations.
Board of Education; school division boundaries; conditions and considerations. Removes several conditions on the Board of Education's constitutional duty to determine school division boundaries and requires the Board, in fulfilling such duty, to consider equity in educational programs within and between school divisions.
HB 2277 Certain children with disabilities; one-year high school extensions permitted.
Certain children with disabilities; one-year high school extensions permitted. Requires any child with a disability who receives special education and related services, reaches age 22 after September 30, 2020, and is scheduled to complete high school in the spring of 2021 to be given the option for an extension to attend high school for the duration of the 2021-22 school year.
HB 2288 Virginia Public Procurement Act; construction contracts; requirement to submit list of subcontracts.
Virginia Public Procurement Act; construction contracts; requirement to submit list of subcontractors. Requires bidders or offerors on contracts for construction of $250,000 or more to submit along with their bid or proposal a list of all subcontractors, regardless of tier, that the bidder or offeror will use on the contract to perform work valued at $50,000 or more, including labor and materials. The bill requires such lists to include certain information about each contractor. The bill also requires the bidder or offer to submit (i) a statement declaring that the bidder or offeror has reviewed the qualifications and performance history of each subcontractor and found such qualifications and performance history to be sufficient to qualify the subcontractor to perform the subcontract work and (ii) a statement indicating that the bidder or offeror has received a written statement from each subcontractor verifying that such subcontractor (a) has not defaulted on any projects within the last three years, (b) has not been suspended or disbarred by any public body within the last three years, and (c) is not currently in bankruptcy. The bill allows the public body to disqualify listed subcontractors, but requires the public body to notify the bidder or offeror of such disqualification and allow the bidder or offeror reasonable time to find a qualified replacement. The bill provides that any bidder or offeror that does not submit the required list and statements will have its bid or proposal disqualified, and any bidder or offeror that is found to have knowingly provided false information pursuant to this section shall be debarred from contracting with any public body for a period of up to one year.
HB 2299 Department of Education; duties; special education.
Department of Education; duties; special education. Requires the Department of Education to (i) provide training and guidance documents to local school divisions on the development of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for children with disabilities, (ii) develop a training module for each individual who participates in an IEP meeting, with the exception of parents, (iii) annually conduct structured reviews of a sample of IEPs from a sufficiently large sample of local school divisions to verify that the IEPs are in compliance with state and federal laws and regulations and are of high quality, (iv) develop and maintain a statewide plan for improving (a) its ongoing oversight of local practices related to transition planning and services for children with disabilities and (b) technical assistance and guidance provided for postsecondary transition planning and services for children with disabilities, (v) develop and maintain a statewide strategic plan for recruiting and retaining special education teachers, and (vi) (a) conduct a one-time targeted review of the transition sections of a random sample of students' IEPs in each school division; (b) communicate its findings to each local school division, school board, and local special education advisory committee; and (c) ensure that local school divisions correct any IEPs that are found to be out of compliance no later than the end of the 2021-22 school year.
HB 2305 Board of Education; guidance on the governance of academic year Governor's Schools.
Board of Education; guidance on the governance of academic year Governor's Schools. Requires the Board of Education to issue guidance on the governance of academic year Governor's Schools, including communication and outreach practices, admissions policies, and guidelines on diversity, equity, and inclusion training. The bill requires such guidance to focus on the importance of increasing access to Governor's Schools for historically underserved students and to include best practices on (i) conducting information sessions about the school and the availability of gifted, advanced, and specialty education program opportunities for feeder public middle schools; (ii) strengthening the student pipeline in feeder public middle schools, prioritizing the most underserved and underrepresented students and public middle schools; and (iii) conducting programs related to and evaluations of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The bill requires the Board of Education, in developing such guidance, to collaborate with relevant stakeholders, including local school boards, Regional Governor's School boards, and Governor's School directors.
HB 2314
Board of Education; regulations; special education; amendment.
Board of Education; regulations; special education; amendment. Requires the Board of Education to amend a certain regulation relating to special education to remove the word "component" following the word "evaluation," thereby ensuring compliance with the relevant federal regulation and clarifying that the parent of a child with a disability has the right to an independent educational evaluation at public expense if the parent disagrees with an evaluation obtained by the local educational agency.
HB 2316 Department of Education and Board of Education; special education and related services.
Department of Education and Board of Education; special education and related services for students with disabilities. Requires the Department of Education to update its special education eligibility worksheets as necessary, including clarifying any ambiguity or vagueness in eligibility criteria, and provide to each local school division the appropriate level of guidance on eligibility determinations for special education and related services. The bill requires the Board of Education to amend its regulations to ensure that each education preparation program graduate in a K-12 general education endorsement area demonstrates proficiency in understanding the role of general education teachers on the individualized education program (IEP) team.
HJ 548 Constitutional amendment (first reference); education; public schools; standards of quality.
Constitutional amendment (first reference); education; public schools; standards of quality. Provides that it is the responsibility of the Commonwealth, rather than the General Assembly, to provide for a system of free public elementary and secondary schools and to ensure a high-quality educational program is established and maintained. The amendment also removes the authority of the General Assembly to revise the standards of quality that are determined and prescribed by the Board of Education for school divisions.
HJ 549 Study; JLARC; impact of COVID-19 on Virginia's public schools, students, and school employees.
Study; JLARC; impact of COVID-19 on Virginia's public schools, students, and school employees; report. Directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study the impact of COVID-19 on Virginia's public schools, students, and school employees, including (i) examining and determining reasons for barriers to student success in virtual and hybrid models as well as the overall impact of COVID-19 face-to-face learning restrictions on previously existing student achievement gaps, student achievement, and student well-being, including any disproportionate impact on at-risk populations; (ii) determining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on staffing levels, including the impact of teacher and school employee retirements and resignations on delivery of instruction and the ability of local school boards to fully staff their needs, employment levels, and local budgets; (iii) determining the short-term and projected long-term changes in student enrollment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of such changes on funding levels; (iv) determining the impact of implementing COVID-19 health and safety measures in public schools; (v) evaluating public schools' level of emergency preparedness to face another pandemic or statewide crisis and making recommendations to help guide planning for such events and (vi) examining programs that can address learning loss and identifying barriers to implementing those programs, including resource gaps.
HJ 564 Study; Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council; charges for the production of public record.
Study; Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council; charges for the production of public records; report. Directs the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council (FOIA Council) to study whether the provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allowing public bodies to charge requesters for the production of public records should be amended to make access to public records easier for requesters. The study further directs the FOIA Council to examine the current FOIA provisions on charges and make recommendations on ways to amend such provisions to make the assessment of charges by public bodies for the production of public records more uniform, more transparent, easier to understand, and less costly. The study directs the FOIA Council to consider comments from and seek participation in the study by citizens of the Commonwealth, representatives of state and local government entities, broadcast, print, and electronic media sources, open government organizations, and other interested parties.
SB 1099
Children's Services Act; special education programs.
Children's Services Act; special education programs. Expands 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 (i) the public school special education program is able to provide services comparable to those of an approved private school special education program and (ii) the student would require placement in an approved private school special education program but for the availability of the public school special education program.
SB 1100
Budget Bill.
Budget Bill. Amends Chapter 56 of the 2020 Special Session I Acts of Assembly.
SB 1106
Public School Assistance Fund and Program; created.
Public School Assistance Fund and Program created. Creates the Public School Assistance Fund and Program, to be administered by the Department of Education, for the purpose of providing grants to school boards to be used solely for the purpose of repairing or replacing the roofs of public elementary and secondary school buildings in the local school division. The bill permits any school board in the Commonwealth to apply for Program grants but requires the Department of Education to give priority in the award of grants to school boards that demonstrate the greatest need based on the condition of existing school building roofs and the ability to pay for the repair or replacement of such roofs.
SB 1132 Public schools; severe weather conditions and other emergency situations.
Public schools; severe weather conditions and other emergency situations; unscheduled remote learning days. Provides that when severe weather conditions or other emergency situations have resulted in the closing of any school in a school division for in-person instruction, the school division may declare an unscheduled remote learning day whereby the school provides synchronous or asynchronous instruction, or some combination thereof, to all students in the school in lieu of in-person instruction without a reduction in the amount paid by the Commonwealth from the Basic School Aid Fund, provided that the school division has established an unscheduled remote learning day plan that ensures that every student is provided instruction and services on such unscheduled remote learning day that are comparable in quality to the instruction and services provided to learners on any other remote learning day.
SB 1137 Virginia Retirement System; retired law-enforcement officers employed as school security officers.
Virginia Retirement System; retired law-enforcement officers employed as school security officers. Provides that if a retired law-enforcement officer was employed by a local school division as a school security officer on January 1, 2020, and had a bona fide break in service of at least one month between retirement and employment as a school security officer, such person is not required to establish a 12-month break in service that would otherwise be required by law.
SB 1159 Use sick leave for the care of immediate family members.
Use sick leave for the care of immediate family members. Requires 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 applies 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 applies only to employees who work at least 30 hours per week, and it caps the amount of sick leave that may be used for the care of immediate family members at five days per calendar year.
SB 1169 High school student parking passes; valid driver's license or driver privilege card required.
High school student parking passes; valid driver's license or driver privilege card required. Requires each public high school to require any student who applies to obtain a pass to park a vehicle on school property to provide evidence that the student possesses a valid driver's license or driver privilege card.
SB 1190 Board of Education; Health Standards of Learning; advanced directive education.
Board of Education; Health Standards of Learning; advanced directive education. Directs the Board of Education to include advanced directive education in its curriculum framework for the Health Standards of Learning for high school students.
SB 1191 School personnel; school nurses.
School personnel; school nurses. Excludes school nurse positions from requirements for student support positions and instead requires 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. The bill also requires the Department of Education to establish and administer a waiver process for local school boards for which the requirements of the bill create an undue hardship.
SB 1196 Teachers and other licensed school board employees; cultural competency.
Teachers and other licensed school board employees; cultural competency. The bill requires teacher, principal, and division superintendent evaluations to include an evaluation of cultural competency. The bill requires every person seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license from the Board of Education (i) to complete instruction or training in cultural competency and (ii) with an endorsement in history and social sciences to complete instruction in African American history, as prescribed by the Board. The bill also requires each school board to adopt and implement policies that require each teacher and any other school board employee holding a license issued by the Board to complete cultural competency training, in accordance with guidance issued by the Board, at least every two years.
SB 1255 Broadband services; education.
Broadband services; education. Authorizes school boards to appropriate funds for the purposes of promoting, facilitating, and encouraging the expansion and operation of broadband services for educational purposes. The bill authorizes school boards to partner with private broadband service providers to promote, implement, and subsidize broadband for educational purposes to the households of students who would qualify for (i) a child nutrition program or (ii) any other program recognized or adopted by the local school board as a measuring standard to identify at-risk students.
SB 1238 School security officers; carrying of firearms; United States Armed Forces veterans.
School security officers; carrying of firearms; United States Armed Forces veterans; employees of local school boards. Permits local school boards to authorize the carrying of a firearm by an individual hired as a school security officer who is (i) an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Armed Forces or (ii) an employee of a local school board who has completed an approved auxiliary training academy.
SB 1257 Standards of Quality; work-based learning; teacher leaders and mentors; principal mentors.
Standards of Quality; work-based learning; teacher leaders and mentors; principal mentors; certain personnel positions and initiatives. 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 in Standard 1 and requiring the Board of Education to establish and oversee the local implementation of teacher leader and teacher mentor programs in Standard 5. The bill 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) requiring each school board to provide at least four 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.
SB 1271 Virginia Freedom of Information Act; meetings held through electronic communication means.
Virginia Freedom of Information Act; meetings held through electronic communication means during a state of emergency. Allows a public body, or a joint meeting thereof, to meet by electronic communication means without a quorum of the public body physically assembled at one location when a locality in which the public body is located has declared a local state of emergency, provided that (i) the catastrophic nature of the declared emergency makes it impracticable or unsafe to assemble a quorum in a single location and (ii) the purpose of the meeting is to provide for the continuity of operations of the public body or the discharge of its lawful purposes, duties, and responsibilities. Under current law, public bodies may only meet in such manner when the Governor has declared a state of emergency, and only for the purpose of addressing the emergency. Finally, the bill requires public bodies meeting through electronic communication means during a local or state declaration of a state of emergency to (a) make arrangements for public access to such meeting through electronic communication means, including videoconferencing if already used by the public body, and (b) provide the public with the opportunity to comment at such meetings when public comment is customarily received.
SB 1286 Income tax; rate increase; funding for schools and law-enforcement officer salaries.
Income tax; rate increase; funding for schools and law-enforcement officer salaries. Increases from 5.75 percent to 5.9 percent the income tax rate on income over $150,000. Under current law, the top marginal rate of 5.75 percent applies to income over $17,000. The rate change applies starting with taxable year 2021. The bill requires revenue from the increase to be appropriated for nonrecurring capital expenditures of school divisions and salary increases for state and state-supported law-enforcement officers.
SB 1288 Department of Education; special education.
Department of Education; special education. Requires the Department of Education and the Board of Education to develop new policies and procedures and effect numerous modifications to existing policies and procedures to improve the administration and oversight of special education in the Commonwealth.
SB 1303 Local school divisions; in-person learning.
Local school divisions; in-person learning. Requires each local school division to make in-person learning available to all students by choice of the student's parent or guardian. The bill contains an emergency clause.
SB 1313 Children's Services Act; special education programs.
Children's Services Act; special education programs. Requires that funds expended for special education services under the Children's Services Act only be expended on educational programs that are licensed by the Department of Education. The bill adds children and youth previously placed in approved private school educational programs for at least six months, who will receive transitional services in a public school setting for no longer than 12 months, to the target population for eligibility for the state pool of funds. The bill requires the Secretary of Education, in conjunction with the Office of Children's Services and the Department of Education, to establish a work group (the Work Group) with appropriate stakeholders to develop a detailed plan to direct the transfer of Children's Services Act funds currently reserved for children requiring an educational placement in a private special education day school or residential facility to the Department of Education and to develop a standardized reporting process, template, and reporting requirement for private special education day school tuition rates to ensure that tuition rates can be accurately compared across schools and over time. The bill requires that the Work Group submit its plan and recommendations to the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations and Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations by November 1, 2021.
SB 1317 Local school boards; open enrollment policy required.
Local school boards; open enrollment policy required. Requires all local school boards to establish and implement policies to provide for the open enrollment to any school of any student who is eligible to receive free or reduced lunch upon the request of a parent or guardian, subject to conditions and limitations established by the local school board.
SB 1322 Public schools; seizure management and action plans; biennial training.
Public schools; seizure management and action plans; biennial training. Provides for the submission and utilization of seizure management and action plans for students with a seizure disorder. The bill requires that school nurses and certain school division employees biennially complete Board of Education-approved training in the treatment of students with seizure disorders. The bill provides immunity from civil liability for acts or omissions related to providing for the care of a student under a seizure management and action plan.
SB 1357 Local school divisions; core subject competency assessments.
Local school divisions; core subject competency assessments. Directs each local school division to develop and administer a fall and winter diagnostic assessment and a spring growth measurement assessment to each student to assess the student's competency in each core subject, as determined by the Department of Education.
SB 1362 Employers; reporting outbreaks of COVID-19; emergency.
Employers; reporting outbreaks of COVID-19; emergency. Requires employers to report for each worksite with 30 or more employees, or for any multi-employer worksite with 30 or more combined employees, to the local health department when the worksite has had three or more confirmed cases of COVID-19. The employer is required to make such report within 24 hours of becoming aware of such cases. The bill requires the State Department of Health to compile such reports and to make a weekly report available to the public with the compiled information. The bill contains an emergency clause.
SB 1401 Standards of Learning assessments; reduction; report.
Standards of Learning assessments; reduction; report. Reduces the total number and type of required Standards of Learning assessments to the minimum requirements established by the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended. The bill requires the Department of Education to annually report on the estimated projected and actual savings from the implementation of the bill and report the amount of such savings to the Governor and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations no later than the first day of each Regular Session of the General Assembly. The bill also requires that such amount be included in the total for Direct Aid to Public Education in any general appropriation act.
SB 1433 Public education; voucher program; emergency.
Public education; voucher program; emergency. Provides that, if a school operates a reduced schedule and the school offers online or virtual learning as a substitute for in-person attendance, it shall deposit a portion of unused funds resulting from the reduced schedule in a voucher account for each student, for use on programs operated by the school division or other educational options, whether public, private, or parochial.
SB 1434 Public schools; mandatory virtual learning; provision of required technology and Internet service.
Public schools; mandatory virtual learning; provision of required technology and Internet service; emergency. Provides that if a school board requires students to engage in virtual learning for any reason, whether full time or part time, and a computer and Internet service to connect to the curriculum is required, the school board must provide appropriate technology devices to every student enrolled in the school system so they may access the learning platform. The bill requires school boards to provide adequate Internet service to a student's household at no cost if the student's household income is below 125 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. The bill contains an emergency clause.
SB 1439 Department of Education; guidelines on excused student absences; civic or political engagement.
Department of Education; guidelines on excused student absences; civic or political engagement. Requires, subject to guidelines established by the Department of Education, any middle school or high school student who is absent from school to engage in a civic or political event to be granted an excused absence.
SJ 275
Constitutional amendment; public schools in the Commonwealth (first reference).
Constitutional amendment (first reference); public schools in the Commonwealth; equal educational opportunities. Requires the General Assembly to provide for a system of public schools in the Commonwealth with equal educational opportunities for all children and to ensure that all school-age children are provided with equal educational opportunities.
SJ 294 Study; JLARC; costs of education; report.
Study; JLARC; costs of education; report. Directs 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.
SJ 308 Study; JLARC; impact of COVID-19 on Virginia's public schools, students, and school employees.
Study; JLARC; impact of COVID-19 on Virginia's public schools, students, and school employees; report. Directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study the impact of COVID-19 on Virginia's public schools, students, and school employees, including (i) examining and determining reasons for barriers to student success in virtual and hybrid models as well as the overall impact of COVID-19 face-to-face learning restrictions on previously existing student achievement gaps, student achievement, and student well-being, including any disproportionate impact on at-risk populations; (ii) determining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on staffing levels, including the impact of teacher and school employee retirements and resignations on delivery of instruction and the ability of local school boards to fully staff their needs, employment levels, and local budgets; (iii) determining the short-term and projected long-term changes in student enrollment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of such changes on funding levels; (iv) determining the impact of implementing COVID-19 health and safety measures in public schools; (v) evaluating public schools' level of emergency preparedness to face another pandemic or statewide crisis and making recommendations to help guide planning for such events and (vi) examining programs that can address learning loss and identifying barriers to implementing those programs, including resource gaps.