2020 General Assembly

The General Assembly is Virginia’s legislative body. The General Assembly's 2020 Regular Session will convene on Wednesday, January 8, 2020. 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 2020 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.
2020 General Assembly Bills Which May Impact FCPS
Bill Number Description
HB 8 Disorderly conduct in public places; school activities. Eliminates the Class 1 misdemeanor for disrupting willfully or while intoxicated, whether willfully or not, the operation of any school or any school activity conducted or sponsored by any school if the disruption (i) prevents or interferes with the orderly conduct of the operation or activity or (ii) has a direct tendency to cause acts of violence by the person or persons at whom, individually, the disruption is directed.
HB 12 Department of Education; discrimination against students; investigation and resolution of complaints. Requires the Department of Education to establish a procedure for the receipt, investigation, and resolution of student complaints alleging discrimination on any basis that is prohibited by state or federal law, including discrimination on the basis of sex as prohibited by Title IX (20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq.).
HB 15 Public school buses; seat belts. Requires the Board of Education to make regulations to require each new public school bus purchased for the transportation of students to be equipped with a seat belt consisting of a lap belt and shoulder strap or harness in every seat. The bill requires each school board to ensure that no later than July 1, 2038, each school bus that it uses for the transportation of students is equipped with a seat belt in every seat.
HB 29 Budget Bill. Amends Chapter 854 of the 2019 Acts of Assembly.
HB 30 Budget Bill. Provides for all appropriations of the Budget submitted by the Governor of Virginia in accordance with the provisions of § 2.2-1509, Code of Virginia, and provides a portion of revenues for the two years ending respectively on the thirtieth day of June, 2021, and the thirtieth day of June, 2022.
HB 36 Student journalists; freedom of speech and the press. Declares that, except in certain limited circumstances, a student journalist at a public middle school or high school or public institution of higher education has the right to exercise freedom of speech and the press in school-sponsored media, including determining the news, opinion, feature, and advertising content of school-sponsored media, regardless of whether the media is supported financially by the school board or governing board, supported through the use of school or campus facilities, or produced in conjunction with a class or course in which the student is enrolled. The bill defines "school-sponsored media" as any material that is prepared, substantially written, published, or broadcast by a student journalist at a public middle school or high school or public institution of higher education under the direction of a student media adviser and distributed or generally made available to members of the student body.
HB 40 Board of Education; mental health break spaces; regulations. Requires the Board of Education to amend its regulations to require that each public school create and maintain a mental health break space within the public school building. The bill requires the Board of Education to collaborate with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services in the creation of regulations for the mental health break spaces.
HB 49 Department of Education; pilot program; feasibility of educational placement transition of certain students with disabilities. Requires the Department of Education and relevant local school boards to develop and implement a pilot program for the transition of students who are educated in private school settings pursuant to Individualized Education Programs to the appropriate public school setting in the relevant local school division for up to four years in two to eight local school divisions in the Commonwealth. In developing the pilot, the Department is required to partner with the appropriate school board employees in each such local school division to (i) identify the resources, services, and supports required by each student who resides in each such local school division and who is educated in a private school setting pursuant to his Individualized Education Program; (ii) study the feasibility of transitioning each such student from his private school setting to an appropriate public school setting in the local school division and providing the identified resources, services, and supports in such public school setting; and (iii) recommend a process for redirecting federal, state, and local funds, including funds provided pursuant to the Children's Services Act, provided for the education of each such student to the local school division for the purpose of providing the identified resources, services, and supports in the appropriate public school setting. The bill requires the Department of Education to make a report to the Governor, the Senate Committees on Education and Health and Finance, and the House Committees on Education and Appropriations on the findings of the pilot program after two and four years.
HB 64 Parental leave for school involvement. Requires employers to grant four hours of leave annually to employees who are parents or guardians of, or who stand in loco parentis to, a school-aged child in order to attend parent-teacher conferences, volunteer at the child's school, or otherwise be involved in the child's school. The employer and employee must mutually agree to the time for the leave, the leave need not be compensated, and the employer may require both 48 hours' advance notice of the leave and written verification from the school of the employee's involvement in the school.
HB 74 Public schools; Mental Health First Aid training. Requires each school board to adopt and implement policies that require each teacher and other relevant personnel, as determined by the school board, employed on a full-time basis, to complete a Mental Health First Aid training or similar program. The bill requires each school board to provide such training and provides that a school board may contract with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, a community services board, a behavioral health authority, a nonprofit organization, or other certified trainer to provide such training.
HB 86 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 the 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, 2032.
HB 109 Public elementary and secondary school students; suspension and expulsion; sufficient cause. Provides that in no case shall sufficient cause for the suspension or expulsion of a student from attendance at a public elementary or secondary school include only instances of truancy or nonviolent behavior. Current law provides that in no cases may sufficient cause for suspensions include only instances of truancy.
HB 112 Public schools; standard diploma requirements; dual-enrollment and work-based learning options. Requires the Board of Education to include in its standard diploma graduation requirements the options for students to complete a dual-enrollment course or high-quality work-based learning experience.
HB 134 Department of Education; individualized education program teams; guidelines. Requires the Department of Education to establish guidelines for individualized education program (IEP) teams to utilize when developing IEPs for children with disabilities to ensure that IEP teams consider the need for age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate instruction related to sexual health, self-restraint, self-protection, respect for personal privacy, and personal boundaries of others. The bill requires each local school board, in developing IEPs for children with disabilities, in addition to any other requirements established by the Board, to ensure that IEP teams consider such guidelines.
HB 145 Public elementary and secondary schools; treatment of transgender students; policies. Requires the Department of Education to develop and make available to each school board, no later than December 31, 2020, model policies concerning the treatment of transgender students in public elementary and secondary schools that address common issues regarding transgender students in accordance with evidence-based best practices and include information, guidance, procedures, and standards relating to (i) compliance with applicable nondiscrimination laws; (ii) maintenance of a safe and supportive learning environment free from discrimination and harassment for all students; (iii) prevention of and response to bullying and harassment; (iv) maintenance of student records; (v) identification of students; (vi) protection of student privacy and the confidentiality of sensitive information; (vii) enforcement of sex-based dress codes; and (viii) student participation in sex-specific school activities, events, and athletics and use of school facilities. The bill requires each school board to adopt, no later than the beginning of the 2021–2022 school year, policies that are consistent with but may be more comprehensive than such model policies developed by the Department of Education.
HB 195 State Council of Higher Education for Virginia; course credit for dual enrollment; strategies for enhancing opportunities. Requires the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, in consultation with each public institution of higher education and in collaboration with the Department of Education, to include in its policy for granting undergraduate course credit to any entering student who has successfully completed a dual enrollment course strategies for public high schools and institutions of higher education to enhance dual enrollment opportunities for students.
HB 197 Department of Education; financial literacy objectives; mathematics Standards of Learning; report. Requires the Department of Education to determine and report to the General Assembly no later than December 1, 2020, the feasibility of incorporating the Board of Education's student financial literacy objectives into the appropriate pre-high school mathematics Standards of Learning.
HB 223 Department of Education; recommendations for improving civic education. Requires the Department of Education to develop and report to the Board of Education, the Governor, and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Education and Health no later than July 1, 2021, recommendations for improving civic education for each public elementary and secondary school student in the Commonwealth, including strategies for (i) expanding their level of civic knowledge, (ii) increasing their respect for the political history of the Commonwealth and the United States, (iii) mitigating the politically polarizing effects that the mainstream media can have on such students, and (iv) helping such students become civically and politically engaged in a rational and civil manner.
HB 226 Students who receive home instruction; participation in interscholastic programs. Prohibits public schools from joining an organization governing interscholastic programs that does not deem eligible for participation a student who (i) receives home instruction; (ii) has demonstrated evidence of progress for two consecutive academic years; (iii) is in compliance with immunization requirements; (iv) is entitled to free tuition in a public school; (v) has not reached the age of 19 by August 1 of the current academic year; (vi) is an amateur who receives no compensation but participates solely for the educational, physical, mental, and social benefits of the activity; (vii) complies with all disciplinary rules and is subject to all codes of conduct applicable to all public high school athletes; and (viii) complies with all other rules governing awards, all-star games, maximum consecutive semesters of high school enrollment, parental consents, physical examinations, and transfers applicable to all high school athletes. The bill provides that no local school board is required to establish a policy to permit students who receive home instruction to participate in interscholastic programs. The bill permits reasonable fees to be charged to students who receive home instruction to cover the costs of participation in such interscholastic programs, including the costs of additional insurance, uniforms, and equipment. The bill has an expiration date of July 1, 2025.
HB 231 Children with disabilities; alternative placements; state funds. Requires the parent of any child with a disability who is placed in a public school pursuant to his individualized education program who subsequently places his child in a nonpublic school setting to receive from the school board, upon request, 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 pay for tuition and fees associated with such nonpublic school setting, subject to such rules, regulations, or procedures as the Department of Education may establish. The bill requires each such parent to submit annually to the division superintendent an evaluation or assessment that indicates that the child is achieving an adequate level of educational growth and progress.
HB 233 Teacher compensation; at or above national average. Requires public school teachers to be compensated at a rate that is at or above the national average. Under current law, compensation at such rate is aspirational. The foregoing provisions of the bill have a delayed effective date of July 1, 2025. The bill requires funding to be provided on an incremental basis pursuant to the general appropriation act to implement such teacher compensation rate by the effective date.
HB 256 Disorderly conduct; students. Provides that a student at any elementary or secondary school is not guilty of disorderly conduct in a public place if the disorderly conduct occurred on school property or a school bus.
HB 257 School principals; incident reports. Eliminates the requirement that school principals report certain enumerated acts that may constitute a misdemeanor offense to law enforcement.
HB 270 Public schools; lock-down drills; notice to parents. Requires every public school to provide the parents of enrolled students with at least 24 hours' notice before the school conducts any lock-down drill. The bill specifies that no such notice is required to include the exact date and time of the lock-down drill.
HB 271 Public schools; school resource officers and school security officers; data. Requires the Department of Criminal Justice Services, in coordination with the Department of Education and the Department of Juvenile Justice, to annually collect, report, and publish data related to incidents involving students and school resource officers or school security officers. The bill also requires the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety to analyze and disseminate submitted data.
HB 272 Department of Education and Department of Environmental Quality; sixth grade science curriculum. Directs the Department of Education to coordinate with the Department of Environmental Quality to update the "Window into a Green Virginia" curriculum developed by the Departments for sixth grade science to include a unit on the benefits, including the energy benefits, of recycling and reuse.
HB 273 School boards; teachers; planning time and planning periods. Requires each local school board to ensure that each elementary school teacher has an average of one 45-minute period per school day of planning time and that each middle and high school teacher is provided one planning period per school day or the equivalent, which shall be at least 45 minutes or one class period, whichever is longer. The bill permits local school boards and teachers to enter into an appropriate contractual arrangement providing for compensation in lieu of such planning time or period. Under current law, public elementary school teachers are guaranteed at least an average of 30 minutes of planning time per school day during a school week.
HB 292 School boards and local law-enforcement agencies; memorandums of understanding; frequency of review and public input. Shortens from every five years to every two years the frequency of the review period for memorandums of understanding between school boards and local law-enforcement agencies. The bill also requires local school boards to conspicuously publish the current division memorandum of understanding on its division website and provide notice and opportunity for public input and discussion during each memorandum of understanding review period.
HB 308 Public elementary and secondary school students; excused absences; mental and behavioral health. Requires the Department of Education to establish and distribute to each school board no later than August 1, 2020, guidelines for the granting of excused absences to students who are absent from school due to mental or behavioral health and requires any student who is absent from school due to his mental or behavioral health to be granted an excused absence, subject to such guidelines.
HB 318 Possession of ammunition on school property; penalty. Provides that a person is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor if he knowingly possesses ammunition for a firearm upon (i) the property of any public, private, or religious elementary, middle, or high school, including buildings and grounds; (ii) that portion of any property open to the public and then exclusively used for school-sponsored functions or extracurricular activities while such functions or activities are taking place; or (iii) any school bus owned or operated by any such school.
HB 351 School bus drivers; critical shortages. Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction, with the assistance of each school board or division superintendent, to survey each local school division to identify critical shortages of school bus drivers by geographic area and local school division and to report any such critical shortage to each local school division and to the Virginia Retirement System. The bill permits any school bus driver in any geographic area or school division in which a critical shortage of school bus drivers has been so identified to elect to continue to receive a service retirement allowance if the driver meets certain other conditions.
HB 365 Public elementary and secondary school teachers; probationary term of service; performance evaluation. Removes (i) the option for local school boards to extend the three-year probationary term of service for teachers by up to two additional years and (ii) the prohibition against school boards reemploying any teacher whose performance evaluation during the probationary term of service is unsatisfactory.
HB 368 Public schools; enrollment; certain children placed in foster care. Specifies, for the purpose of several provisions of law relating to the public school enrollment of children placed in foster care, that a child or student placed in foster care includes a pupil who was in foster care when he reached age 18 but such pupil has not yet reached age 22.
HB 376 Teacher and support staff shortages; data; reporting. Requires (i) each school board to report to the Department of Education annually the number and type of teacher and support staff vacancies in the school division and (ii) each education preparation program to report to the Department of Education annually the number of individuals who graduated from the program during the current calendar year, by endorsement area. The bill requires the Department of Education to (a) establish deadlines for and the format of the reporting of such data and (b) aggregate and report such data annually on the Department's website.
HB 387 Use of handheld personal communications devices; school zones and school property; penalty. Adds school crossing zones and school property to the locations in which a driver is prohibited from holding a handheld personal communications device in his hand while driving a motor vehicle, with certain exceptions. The bill provides that a violation is punishable by a mandatory fine of $250. Current law prohibits (i) the reading of an email or text message on the device and manually entering letters or text in the device as a means of communicating and (ii) the holding of a handheld personal communication device in a highway work zone, with the same exceptions.
HB 392 School boards; applicants for employment and volunteer service; criminal history. Prohibits each school board from employing or accepting the volunteer service of any individual who has been convicted of a violent felony set forth in subsection C of § 17.1-805 of the Code of Virginia or any offense involving the sexual molestation, physical or sexual abuse, or rape of a child. The bill permits each school board to employ or accept the volunteer service of any individual who has been convicted of any felony or crime of moral turpitude that is not set forth in subsection C of § 17.1-805 of the Code of Virginia and does not involve the sexual molestation, physical or sexual abuse, or rape of a child, provided that in the case of a felony conviction, such individual has had his civil rights restored by the Governor. The bill contains parallel provisions for contractors and their employees who have direct contact with students on school property during regular school hours or during school-sponsored activities. Current law provides that any felony conviction is a bar to employment and contract work in public schools.
HB 398 School counselors and social workers; student to position ratio; certain schools. Requires school boards to employ one school counselor and one social worker for every 250 students in each elementary school, middle school, and high school in which at least 50 percent of the students are eligible for federal free lunch.
HB 399 Public education; state accountability and reporting; student subgroup size. Requires, for the purposes of ensuring state accountability pursuant to relevant federal law and publicly reporting the assessment scores of student subgroups, the minimum student subgroup size to be 10.
HB 402 Public schools; lock-down drills; frequency; exemptions. Requires every public school at which sixth grade is the highest grade taught to hold at least one lock-down drill after the first 60 days of the school session and every public school at which seventh grade or any grade above seventh grade is taught to hold at least two lock-down drills after the first 60 days of the school session, in addition to the two lock-down drills required to be held during the first 20 days of the school session at each such school. Current law requires each public school to hold at least two lock-down drills after the first 20 days of the school session. The bill requires kindergarten students to be exempt from mandatory participation in lock-down drills during the first 60 days of the school session and requires the principal at each relevant school to implement such exemption by either (i) conducting teacher-only drills or otherwise providing suitable training for kindergarten teachers or (ii) notifying each parent of a kindergarten student at least five school days in advance of each planned lock-down drill and permitting each such parent to opt his child out of participation in such lock-down drill.
HB 405 Menstrual supplies; certain school buildings. Requires each school board to make tampons and pads available at all times and at no cost to students in the bathrooms of each facility that it owns, leases, or otherwise controls that houses a public school at which any student in grades five through 12 is enrolled.
HB 410 Parental notice; literacy and Response to Intervention screening and services. Requires each local school board to enact a policy to require that notice is provided to the parents of any student who receives literacy and Response to Intervention screening and services.
HB 415 Discipline; suspension; access to graded work. Requires school boards to adopt policies and procedures to ensure suspended students are able to access and complete graded work during the suspension.
HB 419 Virginia Diverse Educator Scholarship Fund and Program established. Establishes the Virginia Diverse Educator Scholarship Fund and Program, to be administered by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, for the purpose of annually providing to each Historically Black College or University in the Commonwealth (Hampton University, Norfolk State University, Virginia State University, and Virginia Union University) such sums as are necessary for each such institution to annually provide scholarships on a competitive basis to no more than two students who (i) identify as African American, Asian, Hispanic or Latino, Native American or Native Alaskan, or Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander; (ii) are accepted to or enrolled in such institution's education preparation program; and (iii) are eligible for a federal Pell Grant to attend such institution. The bill provides that each such scholarship would consist of the following sums: (a) the cost of tuition, mandatory fees, room and board, and textbooks at such institution; (b) the recipient's teacher licensure fees; (c) $5,000 toward teacher professional development activities for the recipient, including coursework, seminars, and conferences; and (d) $10,000 toward mentorship of the recipient by an experienced teacher who is deemed by the relevant school board to be highly effective and able to provide high quality mentorship. The bill requires each student who is awarded a scholarship pursuant to the Program to agree in writing to (1) teach in a public elementary or secondary school in the Commonwealth in which at least half of the enrolled students qualify for free or reduced price lunch or are members of families whose income is below the federal poverty guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services upon graduation for a period that is at least as long as the period during which the recipient used scholarship funds to attend a Historically Black College or University and (2) be mentored by an experienced teacher, as described in clause (d), during such period of employment.
HB 424 Requiring a school resource officer in every school; School Resource Officer Supplementary Fund created. Requires each local school board to place a school resource officer in each public elementary and secondary school. The bill provides that 44 percent of revenues from taxes on alcohol licenses, distilled spirits, and beer and wine coolers shall accrue to the School Resource Officer Supplementary Fund, created by the bill, which would be used to fund the costs of the school resource officer requirement.
HB 429 Free use of toll facilities; teachers, firefighters, and emergency medical services personnel. Authorizes any teacher employed by a public school district, firefighter, or emergency medical services personnel to use all toll bridges, toll ferries, toll tunnels, and toll roads in the Commonwealth without the payment of toll while traveling between his place of residence and his place of employment.
HB 452 Virginia Public Procurement Act; small purchases. Increases from $100,000 to $200,000 the small purchases exemption under the Virginia Public Procurement Act for single or term contracts for goods and services other than professional services.
HB 467 Virginia Public Procurement Act; cooperative procurement; construction. Allows public bodies to utilize cooperative procurement for construction projects not exceeding $200,000.
HB 483 Standards of Learning; review; racism and inequity. Requires the Board of Education, in its review of the Standards of Learning in all subject areas, to consider the need for revisions to remove any racist or inequitable elements of such standards.
HB 501 School boards; written school crisis, emergency management, and medical emergency response plans; annual review; delegation of duty. Permits each school board to designate another entity or individual to participate on its behalf in the annual review of its written school crisis, emergency management, and medical emergency response plan.
HB 516 High school graduation requirements; required courses or credentials; dual enrollment. Permits high school students to fulfill a certain high school graduation course credit requirement by completing a dual enrollment course in lieu of the currently required Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or honors course or Board of Education-approved career and technical education credential.
HB 521 Education Improvement Scholarships Tax Credits. Repeals the Education Improvement Scholarships Tax Credits. Any qualifying donations made prior to July 1, 2020, shall be eligible for the credit, including the ability to carry over the credit, as it was in effect on June 30, 2020.
HB 522 Department of Education; common statewide definition; "students with limited or interrupted formal education." Requires the Department of Education to develop and adopt a common statewide definition for the term "students with limited or interrupted formal education" and to require school boards to report on the number of students who fall under such definition as part of the required data collection and reporting on average daily membership for the purposes of documenting any changes in such numbers over time and allowing for comparisons of such numbers across local school divisions. The bill provides that in developing and adopting such common statewide definition, the Department of Education shall consider and may adopt existing definitions of "students with limited or interrupted formal education."
HB 527 Student assessments; language translation. Requires each school board to establish a process for the translation of certain statutorily required student assessments and any accompanying assessment instructions into the native language of each student who will participate in such assessments.
HB 570 Dismissal of teachers; grounds; incompetency. Removes receipt of one or more unsatisfactory performance evaluations from the list of factors that "incompetency" may be construed to include for the purpose of establishing grounds for the dismissal of public school teachers.
HB 602 Virginia Freedom of Information Act; scholastic records; charges. Provides that, upon request, scholastic records shall be furnished electronically once per academic quarter and physically once per academic year at no charge to the student who is the subject thereof or the student's parent or legal guardian.
HB 634 School Divisions of Innovation; performance-based assessments. Allows a local school board, when applying for its school division to be designated as a School Division of Innovation, to apply to the Board of Education to replace the Virginia Studies and Civics and Economics Standards of Learning assessments with performance-based assessments. The bill requires any such application to (i) demonstrate that the proposed performance-based assessment requires that students demonstrate the knowledge and skills required by the relevant Standards of Learning and that students demonstrate one or more of the skills and qualities of critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, or citizenship and (ii) provide evidence of the local school board's capacity to administer and score performance-based assessments.
HB 678 Parental Choice Education Savings Accounts established. Permits the parents of certain children to apply to the school division in which the child resides for a one-year, renewable Parental Choice Education Savings Account that consists of an amount that is equivalent to a certain percentage of all applicable annual Standards of Quality per pupil state funds appropriated for public school purposes and 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, deposits, fees, and required textbooks 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 683 Family life education programs; student participation. Prohibits any public elementary or secondary school student from participating in any family life education program without the prior written consent of his parent.
HB 693 School boards; paid maternity leave benefit policy. Requires each school board to establish a paid maternity leave benefit policy to grant any mother who has been employed full-time by the school board for at least two years and who gave birth to or adopted a child 12 weeks of paid sick leave, in addition to any other sick leave to which such individual is otherwise entitled, to care for such child. Each such policy shall include provisions relating to (i) any payroll contributions that may be required to finance all or any part of the implementation of the paid maternity leave benefit, (ii) the amount and value of the maternity leave benefit, (iii) the computation of the duration of the paid maternity leave benefit, (iv) the period within which the paid maternity leave benefit shall be used, (v) intermittent use of the paid maternity leave benefit, (vi) employment protection for mothers who use the paid maternity leave benefit, (vii) the coordination of the use of the paid maternity leave benefit and any other leave pursuant to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq., and (viii) any other consideration deemed relevant by the school board.
HB 694 Students in grades six, seven, and eight; computer science or introduction to technology course required. Requires each student in grades six, seven, and eight, starting in the 2025 - 2026 school year, to complete at least one semester-long or year-long computer science elective course or introduction to technology course that is aligned with the appropriate Standards of Learning and may include the following content: examining systems and resources of technology, solving problems in technology, introducing microcontrollers, exploring the designed world, computing systems, networks and the Internet, cybersecurity, data and analysis, algorithms and programming, and the impacts of computing. The bill provides that no such student shall be required to complete an end-of-course assessment for any such course. The bill requires the Board of Education to amend or create Standards of Learning as necessary to implement the foregoing provisions and requires the Department of Education to confer with certain organizations to ensure that the proper training is available to the teachers of such courses.
HB 695 Reports of certain acts to school authorities; exclusion; possession of certain amount of marijuana. Excludes from the incident reports required to be made to division superintendents and principals or their designees incidents involving the possession, for personal use and without the indicia of an intent to distribute, of less than one-quarter of one ounce of marijuana on a school bus, on school property, or at a school-sponsored activity.
HB 697 School meal policies. Requires each local school board to adopt policies that prohibit school board employees from requiring a student who cannot pay for a meal at school or who owes a school meal debt to throw away or discard a meal after it has been served to him.
HB 698 School boards; distribution of excess food. Allows public school boards to distribute excess food to low-income students eligible for the School Breakfast Program or National School Lunch Program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture or to low-income students that the school board determines are otherwise eligible to receive excess food.
HB 701 School boards; school meal policies; parental notification and opt-out. Requires each school board to adopt policies that (i) require each elementary and secondary school in the school division to send to the parents of each student by the end of the first week of the school year notice of the consequences of school meal debt and the school board policy and procedure relating to such debt, including any requirement that such student be served an alternative meal or be required to dispose of meals served to him while such debt remains unpaid; (ii) require any elementary or secondary school in the school division to resend such notice to the parents of any student who accrues a school meal debt before the consequences of such debt go into effect; and (iii) require the parents of any student who do not want their child to be served a school meal to submit a written request to the student's school.
HB 703 School meal debt; donations. Permits any school board to solicit and receive any donation or other funds for the purpose of eliminating or offsetting any school meal debt at any time during the school year and requires each school board to use any such funds solely for such purpose, provided, however, that no such funds are obtained in an illegal or illicit manner. The bill provides that if a school board receives a donation that does not entirely eliminate or offset the total school meal debt at any time during the school year, the school board shall distribute the donation proportionately among each school meal debt.
HB 710 Public school buses; decals; "In God We Trust." Permits local school boards, notwithstanding any regulation to the contrary, to display decals containing the motto "In God We Trust" on public school buses, provided that no such decal obstructs the name of the school division or the number of the school bus.
HB 716 Certain public school employees; online mental health awareness training required. Requires the Department of Education to adopt and implement policies that require each teacher, school counselor, school athletics team coach, and school activity supervisor to complete an online mental health awareness training. The bill requires the Department of Education to provide such training and permits the Department of Education to contract with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, a community services board, a behavioral health authority, a nonprofit organization, or other certified trainer to provide such training.
HB 718 School resource officers; custodial interrogation; parental consent. Prohibits each school resource officer from conducting a custodial interrogation, which the bill defines as any interview of a public elementary or secondary school student conducted by a school resource officer in such circumstances that would lead a reasonable person to consider himself to be in custody associated with arrest and during which the school resource officer takes actions or asks questions that are reasonably likely to elicit responses from the student that could incriminate him, without the written consent of the student's parent.
HB 725 Teachers in certain schools for students with disabilities; provisional licenses; extension. Requires the Board of Education to extend for at least one additional year, but for no more than two additional years, the three-year provisional license of a teacher employed in a school for students with disabilities that is licensed by the Board upon receiving from the school administrator of such school (i) a recommendation for such extension and (ii) satisfactory performance evaluations for such teacher for each year of the original three-year provisional license. The provisions of the bill mirror current law relating to the extension of provisional licenses for public school teachers.
HB 797 Local school boards; lead testing; report; parental notification. Requires each local school board to submit its plan to test and remediate certain potable water sources and report the results of any such test to the Department of Health. The bill also requires local school boards to take all necessary steps to notify parents if testing results indicate lead contamination that exceeds the maximum contaminant level goals set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
HB 817 Department of Education; Department of Health; guidelines for use of digital devices in public schools. Requires the Department of Education, in collaboration with the Department of Health and medical professional societies, to develop and implement health and safety best practice guidelines for the use of digital devices in public schools no later than the 2021-2022 school year.
HB 837 Board of Education; school boards; dress or grooming codes. Requires the Board of Education to include in its guidelines and model policies for codes of student conduct (i) standards for reducing bias and harassment in the enforcement of any code of student conduct and (ii) standards for dress or grooming codes, which the bill defines as any practice, policy, or portion of a code of student conduct adopted by a school board that governs or restricts the attire of any enrolled student. The bill permits any school board to include in its code of student conduct a dress or grooming code. The bill prohibits any school board that does not include in its code of student a dress or grooming code from subjecting a student to discipline for reasons typically assigned to a dress or grooming code. The bill requires any dress or grooming code included in a school board's code of student conduct or otherwise adopted by a school board to (a) permit any student to wear any religiously, ethnically, or culturally specific or significant head covering or hairstyle, including hijabs, yarmulkes, headwraps, braids, locs, and cornrows; (b) maintain gender neutrality by subjecting any student to the same set of rules and standards regardless of gender; (c) not have a disparate impact on students of a particular gender; (d) be clear, specific, and objective and avoid any subjective term or standard such as "distracting," "provocative," or "inappropriate"; (e) prohibit any school board employee from enforcing the dress or grooming code by direct physical contact with a student or a student's attire; and (f) prohibit any school board employee from requiring a student to undress in front of any other individual, including the enforcing school board employee, to comply with the dress or grooming code.
HB 890 Construction management and design-build contracting; use by local public bodies. Removes the provision limiting the use of construction management contracts by local public bodies to projects with a cost expected to exceed $10 million and provides that the threshold for such use shall be consistent with the threshold established in the procedures adopted by the Secretary of Administration for using construction management or design-build contracts.
HB 894 Education preparation programs; teacher licensure; certain coursework, training, or instruction. Requires education preparation programs offered by public institutions of higher education and private institutions of higher education to require, as condition of degree completion, each enrolled student to complete coursework on positive behavior interventions and supports, crisis prevention and de-escalation, the proper use of physical restraint, and appropriate alternative methods to reduce and prevent the need for the use of physical restraint and seclusion. The bill requires every person seeking initial licensure as a teacher who has not completed such coursework to complete instruction or training on such topics. The bill requires the Board of Education to adopt regulations to implement the foregoing requirements.
HB 897 School resource officers; memorandums of understanding. The bill requires that the required memorandum of understanding entered into by a local school board and local law-enforcement agency be consistent with the model memorandum of understanding developed by the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety. The bill requires that the model memorandum contain provisions that prohibit school resource officers from (i) conducting a search of a student's person or property while on school property unless such resource officer has probable cause to conduct such a search and either has a judicial warrant authorizing the search or has identified exigent circumstances necessitating a warrantless search; (ii) participating in any request for assistance from a federal agency without a subpoena or warrant; (iii) inquiring as to whether a student was born in a country other than the United States or is a citizen of a country other than the United States, unless such inquiry is in connection with an kidnapping or extortion investigation; and (iv) absent exigent circumstances, questioning any student without prior notification to the parent or guardian of such student's right to refuse to be questioned or searched. The bill also provides that the model memorandum of understanding shall contain provisions regarding the use of translators or appropriate guardians to assist students in responding to questions from a school resource officer. The bill requires each such school board and local law-enforcement agency to review the memorandum of understanding every four years or at any time upon request of either party. The bill provides that such memorandum shall be made available for public review and comment at least 30 days prior to its adoption. The bill also redefines school resource officer to specifically prohibit a school resource officer from investigating or enforcing violations of school board policies, including student conduct codes.
HB 898 Earned paid sick time. Requires public and private employers with six or more employees to provide those employees with earned paid sick time. The measure 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 time in a year, unless the employer selects a higher limit. Employees shall not be entitled to use accrued earned paid sick time until the ninetieth calendar day following commencement of their employment, unless otherwise permitted by the employer. The bill provides that earned paid sick time may be used (i) for 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; (ii) to provide care to a family member under similar circumstances; (iii) when there is a closure of the employee's place of business or the employee's child's school or place of care due to a public health emergency; or (iv) when an employee's or employee's family member's presence in the community may jeopardize the health of others because of their exposure to a communicable disease. The bill 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 measure 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. The measure has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2021.
HB 931 Public schools; Standards of Learning assessments; 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 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.
HB 939 Public schools; firearm safety education program. Requires local school boards to provide firearm safety education programs for students in high school. The bill requires the Board of Education to establish curriculum guidelines for the program, in consultation with the Department of State Police, and requires that the program be taught by a school resource officer, other law-enforcement officer, or a United States Armed Forces instructor. The bill prohibits the use of firearms in the program. Current law allows local school boards to provide a firearm safety education program for students in the elementary grades and does not specify who may instruct such program.
HB 953 Science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) programs; grants. Establishes the STEAM Education Fund for the purpose of awarding grants in amounts not to exceed $50,000 annually to any public elementary or secondary school in the Commonwealth at which at least 25 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch that provides an academic class, curriculum, or activity focused on a science, technology, engineering, arts, or mathematics (STEAM) discipline.
HB 973 Elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth; racial segregation; repeal of provisions. Repeals several Acts of Assembly from 1901 to 1960 that contain provisions relating to the racial segregation of students in elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth.
HB 975 Standards of Quality; state funding; ratios of teachers to English language learners. Requires state funding, pursuant to the general appropriation act, to be provided pursuant to Standard 2 of the Standards of Quality to support divisionwide ratios of English language learner students in average daily membership to full-time equivalent teaching positions as follows: (i) for each English language learner identified as proficiency level one, one position per 25 students; (ii) for each English language learner identified as proficiency level two, one position per 30 students; (iii) for each English language learner identified as proficiency level three, one position per 40 students; and (iv) for all other English language learners, one position per 58 students. Current law requires 17 full-time equivalent instructional positions for each 1,000 students identified as having limited English proficiency.
HB 986 Virginia Retirement System; retired law-enforcement officers employed as school security officers. Allows a retired law-enforcement officer to continue to receive his service retirement allowance during a subsequent period of employment by a local school division as a school security officer.
HB 999 School board policies; epinephrine; accessibility. Requires each school board's policies on the possession and administration of epinephrine in every school in the local school division to require that at least one school nurse, employee of the school board, employee of a local governing body, or employee of a local health department who is authorized by a prescriber and trained in the administration of epinephrine has the means to access at all times during regular school hours any such epinephrine that is stored in a locked or otherwise generally inaccessible container or area.
HB 1031 Regional alternative education programs; funding. Requires the funding transferred from the Department of Education to the relevant school divisions in support of a regional alternative education program to be based on each such school division's need for the current school year. Under current law, such funding is transferred based on data accumulated during the prior school year.
HB 1073 Parental educational information; tobacco and nicotine vapor products. Requires each school board to annually provide parents of pupils in grades kindergarten through 12 information regarding the health dangers of tobacco and nicotine vapor products. The bill requires that the information provided be consistent with guidelines set forth by the Department of Education.
HB 1081 School attendance officers; petitions for violation of a school attendance order. Provides that an attendance officer, or a division superintendent or his designee when acting as an attendance officer, may complete, sign, and file a petition for a violation of a school attendance order in response to the filing of a petition alleging the pupil is a child in need of supervision with the intake officer of the juvenile and domestic relations district court on a form approved by the Virginia Supreme Court.
HB 1085 Public schools; potable water. Establishes minimum requirements for the installation of water bottle filling stations and drinking fountains in new public school buildings, additions to existing public school buildings, and alterations to existing public school buildings estimated to cost $50,000 or more. The bill requires the Board of Education to amend its regulations to require local school divisions to allow all students to carry and utilize a water bottle while at school.
HB 1089 Public elementary schools; instruction; success sequence. Requires each public elementary school principal to ensure that instruction on the importance of the success sequence, which the bill defines as the sequential act of graduating from high school, securing full-time employment, and marrying before having children and the impact that has on poverty in the United States, is provided at least annually to each student at the grade level that the principal deems appropriate. The bill permits such instruction to be incorporated into existing curricula and to be delivered in collaboration with any other entity or individual.
HB 1110 Standards of Learning; history and social science; diverse people; gender identity and sexual orientation. Includes consideration of gender identity and sexual orientation in the study of contributions to society of diverse people as part of the Standards of Learning for history and social science.
HB 1114 School principals; incident reports. Eliminates the requirement that school principals report certain enumerated acts that may constitute a misdemeanor offense to law enforcement.
HB 1122 Public schools; electives on the Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament and the New Testament. Requires local school boards to offer as an elective in grades nine through 12 with appropriate credits toward graduation a course, either in a traditional classroom setting or in a virtual classroom setting, on the Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament of the Bible or the New Testament of the Bible or a combined course on both. The bill requires the Board of Education to develop Standards of Learning and curriculum guidelines for such courses. The bill provides that the purpose of such courses is to introduce students to biblical content, characters, poetry, and narratives that are prerequisites to understanding contemporary society and culture, including literature, art, music, mores, oratory, and public policy. The bill prohibits students from being required to use a specific translation of a religious text when taking the courses and provides that such courses shall maintain religious neutrality and shall not endorse, favor, promote, disfavor, or show hostility toward any particular religion or nonreligious perspective.
HB 1123 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.
HB 1124 Yellow schools; authorization. Permits any school board to enter into an operating contract with a not-for-profit entity (operating entity) to designate a public elementary or secondary school in the local school division in which at least 50 percent of enrolled students are eligible for free or reduced price lunch as a yellow school and requires each such contract to (i) require the school board to transfer its constitutional authority to supervise the yellow school to the operating entity, including its authority relating to personnel and curriculum, for an initial period of at least two years, provided, however, that the yellow school shall be subject to all federal and state accountability requirements prescribed by law or regulation; (ii) require the operating entity to make available nutritional support, after school academic and mentorship services, health care support by licensed nurse practitioners or doctors, and dental care by dental hygienists or dentists to each student enrolled in the yellow school; (iii) permit the operating entity to seek reimbursement under Medicaid for all the services described in clause (ii) that are provided to eligible students; (iv) require the operating entity to establish performance metrics for the yellow school and biannually report to the school board on its compliance with such metrics; and (v) require the supervision of the yellow school to be transferred back to the school board if the operating entity breaches the operating contract or fails to meet the performance metrics established in the operating contract. The bill permits any such operating contract to contain provisions for the use of local school division services for a yellow school, including transportation, food services, and extracurricular activities. The bill provides that each operating entity is entitled to matching state funds pursuant to the general appropriation act in an amount equal to 25 percent of all funds that the operating entity invests to provide the services described in clause (ii) in the yellow school. The bill also provides that no operating entity that receives such matching state funds is eligible to receive a Neighborhood Assistance Act Tax Credit pursuant to Article 13.2 (§ 58.1-439.18 et seq.) of Chapter 3 of Title 58.1.
HB 1135 School resource officers; memorandums of understanding. The bill requires that the required memorandum of understanding entered into by a local school board and local law-enforcement agency be consistent with the model memorandum of understanding developed by the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety. The bill requires that the model memorandum contain provisions that prohibit school resource officers from (i) conducting a search of a student's person or property while on school property unless such resource officer has probable cause to conduct such a search and either has a judicial warrant authorizing the search or has identified exigent circumstances necessitating a warrantless search; (ii) participating in any request for assistance from a federal agency without a subpoena or warrant; (iii) inquiring as to whether a student was born in a country other than the United States or is a citizen of a country other than the United States, unless such inquiry is in connection with an kidnapping or extortion investigation; and (iv) absent exigent circumstances, questioning any student without prior notification to the parent or guardian of such student's right to refuse to be questioned or searched. The bill also provides that the model memorandum of understanding shall contain provisions regarding the use of translators or appropriate guardians to assist students in responding to questions from a school resource officer. The bill requires each such school board and local law-enforcement agency to review the memorandum of understanding every four years or at any time upon request of either party. The bill provides that such memorandum shall be made available for public review and comment at least 30 days prior to its adoption. The bill also redefines school resource officer to specifically prohibit a school resource officer from investigating or enforcing violations of school board policies, including student conduct codes.
HB 1139 English language learner students; guidance, information, programs, and policies. Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to (i) develop guidance for school boards to improve the process for the identification of English language learner students for eligibility for gifted and talented programs and address the underrepresentation of such students in such programs that includes methods for recognizing and addressing potential challenges in such process and facilitating professional development for and collaboration among the teachers involved in such process, including teachers in English language learner programs and teachers in gifted and talented programs; (ii) encourage any school board of a local school division in which English language learner students struggle to achieve at a high level to prioritize the utilization of the state funds available to the school board to improve such levels of achievement; and (iii) in consultation with experts who possess knowledge and experience in assessing the language proficiency and academic performance of English language learner students, annually collect and report data on the English proficiency level, program placement, and academic language development, including oral academic language, of each English language learner student and appropriate and effective measures for improving assessments for and the English proficiency of English language learner students. The bill requires the school board in any school division in which 20 or more English language learner students in one language classification are enrolled at any grade level in kindergarten through grade five, to provide a one-way or two-way dual language immersion program or early exit or late exit transitional bilingual program for such students, as such programs are defined by the Board of Education pursuant to regulation. The bill requires each school board to provide a content-based or pull-out English as a second language program, as such programs are defined by the Board of Education pursuant to regulation, for all other enrolled English language learner students. The bill requires each school board to adopt policies to (a) support oral and written communication between school board employees and the parents of each enrolled student in such parents' native language; (b) pursue community support to accelerate the literacy and achievement of English language learner students; (c) conduct school satisfaction surveys in the native language of each surveyed individual, when practicable; and (d) ensure that literacy strategies sent to the parents of enrolled English language learner students who read below grade level are tailored to promote reading proficiency in English and the student's native language. The bill also requires any Head Start program offered in the Commonwealth to provide the parents of English language learner students with oral and written information to monitor the program's impact on their children's English and native language proficiency and development.
HB 1140 Clean School Bus Grant Fund and Program; establishment. Establishes the Clean School Bus Grant Fund and requires the Department of Education to establish the Clean School Bus Grant Program for the purpose of (i) awarding grants from the Fund on a competitive basis to school boards for (a) the complete replacement of existing diesel school buses with electric school buses no later than 2030, (b) the implementation of recharging infrastructure or other infrastructure needed to charge or maintain such electric school buses, and (c) workforce development and training to support the maintenance, charging, and operation of such electric school buses and (ii) developing education outreach to promote the Program. The bill contains provisions relating to grant applications, priority, awards, and uses. The bill requires the Department of Education to make available to the public and annually report to the General Assembly certain information relating to the Program. The bill has an expiration date of July 1, 2030.
HB 1142 Alcoholic beverage control; possession and sale of alcoholic beverages at school sporting events; penalty. Prohibits persons from drinking alcoholic beverages in or upon the grounds of facilities hosting public elementary or secondary school sporting events and prohibits facilities hosting such events from serving alcoholic beverages during such events. A violation of the provisions of the bill is a Class 2 misdemeanor.
HB 1143 Local school boards; support services positions; licensed behavior analysts. Includes licensed behavior analysts as support services positions in a local school division for the purposes of Title 22.1 (Education).
HB 1169 Public elementary and secondary school teachers; probationary term of service. Provides that a probationary term of service of at least three years shall be required before a public elementary or secondary school teacher is issued a continuing contract. Current law provides that a probationary term of service of at least three years and, at the option of the local school board, up to five years in the same school division shall be required before a public elementary or secondary school teacher is issued a continuing contract.
HB 1174 Public schools; possession of undesignated stock albuterol inhalers; administration by certain individuals. Requires each local school board to adopt and implement policies for the possession and administration of undesignated stock albuterol inhalers in every 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 a prescriber and trained in the administration of albuterol inhalers for any student believed in good faith to be in need of such medication. The bill limits the liability of (i) any such individual who provides, administers, or assists in the administration of an albuterol inhaler for a student believed in good faith to be in need of such medication and (ii) the prescriber of such medication.
HB 1177 School board policies; homework assignments; Internet connection. Requires each school board to establish a policy to prohibit any teacher in the school division from assigning to any student a homework assignment that requires the use of an Internet connection that is capable of transmitting information at a rate that is not less than 256 kilobits per second in at least one direction when such student lacks meaningful access to such an Internet connection.
HB 1208 School boards; duties; assistance with student bus pass applications. Requires each school board to establish a process for assisting any student whose family members have one or more medical conditions that preclude them from providing transportation for the student to attend school to apply for and obtain a pass to ride a regionally operated or locally operated bus to school.
HB 1274 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 1276 School boards; career and technical education; academic and career plans; contents. Requires each school board to include, as part of each student's academic and career plan in the career and technical education curricula, a list of (i) the top 100 professions in the Commonwealth by median pay and the education, training, and skills required for each such profession and (ii) the top 10 degree programs at institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth by median pay of program graduates. The bill requires the Department of Education to annually compile such lists and provide them to each local school board.
HB 1277 Public schools; Standards of Learning assessments. 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 1316 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, and other licensed health and behavioral positions, per 1,000 students.
HB 1323 Instructional positions; students identified as having limited English proficiency. Requires state funding to be provided pursuant to the general appropriation act to support 20 full-time equivalent instructional positions for each 1,000 students identified as having limited English proficiency. Current law requires state funding to support 17 such positions for each 1,000 such students.
HB 1326 Teachers; probation and dismissal. Specifies that a teacher may be placed on probation for incompetency, immorality, noncompliance with school laws and regulations, disability as shown by competent medical evidence when in compliance with federal law, conviction of a felony or a crime of moral turpitude, or other good and just cause. The bill replaces the current condition constituting incompetency, for the purposes of teacher employment, of one or more unsatisfactory performance evaluations with the condition of more than one unsatisfactory performance evaluation or one unsatisfactory performance evaluation coupled with a finding by the division superintendent that the teacher (i) exhibited a pattern of poor performance or (ii) failed to respond to efforts to improve his performance. The bill extends from 10 business days to 15 business days the deadline for a teacher to request a hearing after receiving written notice of a recommendation of dismissal. The bill also staggers by 10 days (a) the opportunity for a teacher recommended for dismissal to inspect and copy his personnel file and all other documents relied upon in reaching the decision to recommend dismissal and (b) the opportunity for the division superintendent to inspect and copy the documents to be offered in rebuttal to the decision to recommend dismissal. The bill also extends from 15 business days to 30 business days the deadline for the school board or hearing officer to set a hearing after a request for a hearing by a teacher recommended for dismissal.
HB 1336 Family life education; Standards of Learning and curriculum guidelines; contemporary community standards; review. Requires the Board of Education, in conducting its regular review and revision of the Standards of Learning and curriculum guidelines for family life education, to consult relevant stakeholders representing the interests of students, parents, health care providers, faith communities, and other public interest groups to ascertain and ensure that such standards and guidelines reflect contemporary community standards. The bill requires the next such review and revision to be completed no later than June 30, 2021. The bill requires each school board to conduct a review of its family life education curricula at least once every seven years.
HB 1344 Board of Education; teacher licensure; written reprimand; suspension. Provides that when adopting regulations regarding the issuance of written reprimands of teachers and other school personnel required to hold a license, the Board of Education shall establish in such regulations the grounds for such written reprimands and provides that for a teacher who breaches his contract, the local board of education or division superintendent, in addition to a written reprimand or revocation of the teacher's license as in current law, may issue a suspension of the teacher's license.
HB 1368 Virginia Retirement System; retired law-enforcement officers employed as school security officers. Allows a retired law-enforcement officer to continue to receive his service retirement allowance during a subsequent period of employment by a local school division as a school security officer.
HB 1381 Special education; due process hearings; nonattorney representatives. Permits a school division and the parents of a child with a disability in the school division to be accompanied and advised by any nonattorney with special knowledge or training with respect to the needs of children with disabilities in any due process hearing before a hearing officer. The bill declares that it constitutes the practice of law without being authorized or licensed to do so as prohibited by law when any such nonattorney drafts or submits pleadings, motions, or briefs; presents evidence; makes any argument, including any argument relating to any law or regulation; or questions witnesses on behalf of any parent or student. The bill requires the Board of Education to adopt regulations to establish (i) licensure requirements, including minimum training and qualification requirements, (ii) a code of professional conduct, and (iii) a mechanism for the review and resolution of complaints for such nonattorneys. Current law permits the school division and the parents of a child with a disability to be represented by any individual, regardless of special knowledge or training, in any due process hearing before a hearing officer and declares that such representation does not constitute the practice of law without being authorized or licensed to do so.
HB 1388 Public school accreditation; triennial review. Eliminates the ability of a school that only maintains a passing rate on Virginia assessment program tests or additional tests approved by the Board of Education of 95 percent or above in each of the four core academic areas for two consecutive years to apply for and receive a waiver of accreditation from the Department of Education, which waiver confers full accreditation for a three-year period. Current law provides high-performing schools a separate pathway to obtain three-year accreditation.
HB 1394 Family life education programs; materials; summaries. Requires the summary of each family life education program that is provided to the parents of students who participate in such program to include a complete description of the process for parental review of program materials. The bill requires each local school board to post for public viewing on the local school division's official website each such summary, a complete copy of all printed family life education program materials, and a description of all family life education program audio-visual materials. The bill requires each local school board to implement the foregoing provisions no later than the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
HB 1400 Board of Education; graduation requirements; English as a second language courses. Requires the Board of Education, in establishing high school graduation requirements, to permit English as a second language (ESL) courses to satisfy credit requirements for graduation.
HB 1415 School library clerical personnel; ratios of positions to students. Establishes, as part of each local school board's provision of those support services that are necessary for the efficient and cost-effective operation and maintenance of its public schools, the following ratios for school library clerical personnel positions: in elementary schools, one full-time at 300 students and two full-time at 700 students; in middle schools, one full-time at 300 students, two full-time at 800 students, and three full-time at 1,700 students; and in high schools, one full-time, two full-time at 900 students, and three full-time at 1,800 students.
HB 1419 School resource officers and school security officers; training standards. Requires school resource officers and school security officers to receive training specific to the role and responsibility of a law-enforcement officer working with students in a school environment that includes training on (i) relevant state and federal laws; (ii) school and personal liability issues; (iii) security awareness in the school environment; (iv) mediation and conflict resolution, including de-escalation techniques; (v) disaster and emergency response; (vi) awareness of cultural diversity and implicit bias; (vii) working with students with disabilities, mental health needs, substance abuse disorders, or past traumatic experiences; and (viii) student behavioral dynamics, including current child and adolescent development and brain research.
HB 1426 School boards; school meals; availability to students. Requires each school board to require each public elementary and secondary school in the local school division to participate in the federal National School Lunch Program and the federal School Breakfast Program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and to make meals available pursuant to such programs to any student who requests such a meal, regardless of such student's family income or whether such student has the money to pay for the meal or owes money for meals previously provided, unless the student's parent has provided written permission to the school board to withhold such a meal from the student.
HB 1427 Passing stopped school bus; vendor; administrative fee. Authorizes a private vendor operating a video monitoring system for a school division for the purpose of recording those illegally passing stopped school buses to impose and collect an administrative fee to recover the cost of collecting the civil penalty to be paid by the operator of the vehicle. The bill contains technical amendments.
HB 1443 Department of Education; annual teacher compensation review; report. Requires the Department of Education to conduct an annual review of teacher compensation that takes into consideration the Commonwealth's compensation for teachers relative to member states in the Southern Regional Education Board. The bill requires the Department to report its findings to the Governor, the General Assembly, and the School Board by June 1 of each year. Current law requires the Director of Human Resource Management to complete a biennial review of teacher compensation that also compares the Commonwealth's compensation for teachers to other occupations requiring similar education and training.
HB 1446 Certain school boards; school buildings; assessment; compliance. Requires any local school board in a local school division that (i) is under a division-level corrective action plan, (ii) contains any school that is under a corrective action plan, or (iii) receives at-risk add-on payments pursuant to the general appropriation act to annually assess each school building in the local school division for compliance with the Board of Education's minimum standards for school buildings and report the results to the Board. The bill requires, in any case of noncompliance with such standards, such report to include an assessment of the extent to which local funds are available to remedy such noncompliance. The bill provides that when the Board determines, on the basis of any such report, that a local governing body has not provided the local school board sufficient funds to ensure compliance with the minimum standards for school buildings, the Board may petition the relevant circuit court to compel the local governing body to provide such funds to the local school board.
HB 1469 Teachers employed in accredited private elementary and secondary schools; provisional licenses; extension. Requires the Board of Education to extend for at least one additional year, but for no more than two additional years, the three-year provisional license of a teacher employed in an accredited private elementary or secondary school upon receiving from the school administrator of such school (i) a recommendation for such extension and (ii) satisfactory performance evaluations for such teacher for each year of the original three-year provisional license. The provisions of the bill mirror current law relating to the extension of provisional licenses for public school teachers.
HB 1491 Student voters; Virginia voter registration. Requires each public high school to provide to any enrolled student who is of voting age or otherwise eligible to register to vote access to Virginia voter registration information and applications and the opportunity to complete such application during the normal course of the school day.
HB 1493 Virginia Retirement System; retired law-enforcement officers employed as school resource officers or school security officers. Allows a retired law-enforcement officer to continue to receive his service retirement allowance during a subsequent period of employment by a local school division as a school resource officer or school security officer, so long as he has a bona fide break in service between retirement and reemployment, did not retire under an early retirement program, and did not retire under the Workforce Transition Act of 1995.
HB 1495 Virginia Retirement System; retired law-enforcement officers employed as school resource officers or school security officers. Allows a retired law-enforcement officer to continue to receive his service retirement allowance during a subsequent period of employment by a local school division as a school resource officer or school security officer, so long as he has a bona fide break in service between retirement and reemployment, did not retire under an early retirement program, and did not retire under the Workforce Transition Act of 1995.
HB 1508 Minimum staffing ratio for school counselors. Requires local school boards to employ school counselors in accordance with the following ratios, effective with the 2020-2021 school year: in elementary schools, one hour per day per 75 students, one full-time equivalent at 375 students, one hour per day additional time per 75 students or major fraction thereof; in middle schools, one period per 65 students, one full-time equivalent at 325 students, one additional period per 65 students or major fraction thereof; and in high schools, one period per 60 students, one full-time equivalent at 300 students, one additional period per 60 students or major fraction thereof. The bill also requires local school boards to employ one full-time equivalent school counselor position per 250 students in grades kindergarten through 12, effective with the 2021-2022 school year.
HB 1513 Health insurance credits for retired school division employees. Requires school divisions to provide a health insurance credit of $4 per year of service to all retired members of local school divisions with at least 15 years of total creditable service. Currently, the $4 per year of service health insurance credit is provided only to teachers, and non-teacher school division employees are eligible for a credit of $1.50 per year of service, capped at $45 per month, if the locality has elected such coverage. An enactment clause provides that this measure does not apply to any local school division employee who retired on disability prior to July 1, 2020, if this measure would reduce the monthly credit currently payable to such former member. Eligible employees who retired prior to July 1, 2020, and did not receive a health insurance credit prior to that date will only receive the $4 per year of service health insurance credit prospectively.
HB 1515 School boards; staffing ratios; school counselors. Requires school boards to employ school counselors in accordance with the following ratios: (i) effective with the 2020-2021 school year, in elementary schools, one hour per day per 60 students, one full-time at 300 students, one hour per day additional time per 60 students or major fraction thereof; in middle and high schools, one period per 55 students, one full-time at 275 students, one additional period per 55 students or major fraction thereof and (ii) effective with the 2021-2022 school year, in elementary, middle, and high schools, one hour per day per 50 students, one full-time at 250 students, one additional hour per day per 50 students or major fraction thereof. Under current law, school boards are required to employ school counselors in accordance with the following ratios: in elementary schools, one hour per day per 75 students, one full-time at 375 students, one hour per day additional time per 75 students or major fraction thereof; in middle schools, one period per 65 students, one full-time at 325 students, one additional period per 65 students or major fraction thereof; in high schools, one period per 60 students, one full-time at 300 students, one additional period per 60 students or major fraction thereof.
HB 1554 Public schools; Mental Health First Aid training. Requires each school board to adopt and implement policies that require each teacher and other relevant personnel, as determined by the school board, who are employed on a full-time basis to complete a Mental Health First Aid training or similar program every three years. The bill requires each school board to provide such training and allows a school board to contract with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, a community services board, a behavioral health authority, a nonprofit organization, or a certified trainer of the Mental Health First Aid training program to provide such training.
HB 1557 Appointed school boards; members; salaries. Eliminates the annual salary limits for appointed school board members and 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 Article 1.1 (§ 15.2-1414.1 et seq.) of Chapter 14 of Title 15.2 (Counties, Cities and Towns) or as provided by charter.
HB 1568 State Board of Education; technical professional licenses; military science endorsement. Directs the State Board of Education to amend its regulations to require that persons seeking a technical professional license with an endorsement to teach military science have either the appropriate credentials issued by the United States military or a recommendation from a Virginia employing educational agency.
HB 1578 Appointed school boards; members; salaries. Eliminates the annual salary limits for appointed school board members and 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 Article 1.1 (§ 15.2-1414.1 et seq.) of Chapter 14 of Title 15.2 (Counties, Cities and Towns) or as provided by charter.
HB 1599 School boards; staffing ratios; librarians. Requires school boards to employ librarians in accordance with the following ratios: in elementary schools, one part-time to 299 students, one full-time at 300 students, and two full-time at 700 students; in middle schools, one-half time to 299 students, one full-time at 300 students, two full-time at 800 students, and three full-time at 1,700 students; and in high schools, one half-time to 299 students, one full-time at 300 students, two full-time at 900 students, and three full-time at 1,800 students. Under current law, school boards are required to employ librarians in accordance with the following ratios: in elementary schools, one part-time to 299 students and one full-time at 300 students; in middle schools, one-half time to 299 students, one full-time at 300 students, and two full-time at 1,000 students; and in high schools, one half-time to 299 students, one full-time at 300 students, and two full-time at 1,000 students.
HB 1613 Public school teachers; technical professional licenses; eligibility criteria. Requires the Board of Education, pursuant to regulation, to permit any individual who seeks a technical professional license to substitute the successful completion of an intensive, job-embedded, three-year program of professional development for the nine semester hours of professional studies required for such license.
HB 1630 Public schools; provisional teacher licensure; certain individuals. Permits any school board and division superintendent to extend from three months to six months the period within which the provisional license of an individual seeking initial teacher licensure who has not completed professional assessments will expire for the purpose of establishing such individual's eligibility for initial licensure, provided that such individual has received a satisfactory mid-year performance review in the current school year and meets all other eligibility criteria.
HB 1633 Board of Education; school modernization loan interest rate subsidy payments; eligibility. Requires the Board of Education to establish a program to use Literary Fund proceeds to subsidize interest payments on certain loans made by the Virginia Public School Authority to local governing bodies and school boards for the design and construction of new school buildings and facilities or the modernization and maintenance of existing school buildings and facilities as follows: for school divisions in localities determined to have above-average or high fiscal stress by the Commission on Local Government in its most recent version of such report, the Board shall subsidize up to 100 percent of the interest due on such loan. Under current law, eligibility for such interest rate subsidy payment is based on the local composite index of ability to pay.
HB 1653 School counselors; staffing ratios; flexibility. 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.
HB 1680 Board of Education; Career and Technical Education Work-Based Learning Guide. Requires the Board of Education to review and revise, in consultation with certain stakeholders and no later than December 1, 2020, its Career and Technical Education Work-Based Learning Guide to expand the opportunities available for students to earn credit for graduation through high-quality work-based learning experiences or in the case of agricultural education, supervised agricultural experiences, such as job shadowing, mentorships, internships, and externships.
HB 1711 Virtual Virginia; availability in public elementary and middle schools.
HJ 20
Study; JLARC; feasibility of adjusting the composite index of local ability to pay and expanding access to the cost of competing adjustment; report. Directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study the feasibility of adjusting the composite index of local ability to pay and expanding access to the cost of competing adjustment by (i) reviewing current statutory, constitutional, and budgetary provisions governing the calculation of Standards of Quality costs and funding; (ii) examining the components of the composite index of local ability to pay and the cost of competing adjustment; (iii) evaluating other states' public school funding formulas; and (iv) hearing local concerns and seeking input from various state and national experts, as applicable.
HJ 41 Study; JLARC; teacher salaries and benefits in the Commonwealth; regional competitiveness of such salaries and benefits; report. Directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study teacher salaries and benefits in the Commonwealth, including the regional competitiveness of such salaries and benefits, by analyzing the relationship between (i) salaries and benefits provided to teachers in the Commonwealth, states adjoining the Commonwealth, and the District of Columbia and (ii) the recruitment and retention of teachers in each such state and the District of Columbia.
HJ 66 Study; Department of Education; experiential learning and workforce development opportunities in high-demand fields; report. Requests the Department of Education to study experiential learning and workforce development opportunities for high school students in high-demand fields.
HJ 79 Study; JLARC; special education staffing ratios; report. Directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to include in its current review of the effectiveness of Virginia's special education programs an examination of the prescribed and actual ratios of students to special education instructional and support personnel in public elementary and secondary schools in the Commonwealth to determine whether any adjustment to such ratios is necessary.
SB 3 Disorderly conduct in public places; school activities. Eliminates the Class 1 misdemeanor for disrupting willfully or while intoxicated, whether willfully or not, the operation of any school or any school activity conducted or sponsored by any school if the disruption (i) prevents or interferes with the orderly conduct of the operation or activity or (ii) has a direct tendency to cause acts of violence by the person or persons at whom, individually, the disruption is directed.
SB 4 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 5 Board of Education; uniform minimum standards for modern public school buildings. Requires the Board of Education to prescribe by regulation uniform minimum standards for the erection of modern public school buildings and the modernization of existing public school buildings for the purpose of promoting positive educational outcomes for each public elementary and secondary school student. The bill requires such regulations to include uniform minimum modern public school building standards that promote (i) the delivery of instruction that complies with the Standards of Learning by addressing enrollment capacity and available space and (ii) the health and safety of each enrolled student. The bill requires each school board to annually (a) assess and report to the Board the extent to which each public school building in the local school division complies with such uniform minimum standards and (b) submit to the Board a long-range plan for compliance with such uniform minimum standards, including an assessment of the cost of such compliance, in any case in which the school board determines that a public school building in the local school division does not comply with such standards.
SB 6 Voter referendum; issuance of state general obligation bonds for school facility modernization. Provides for a statewide referendum on the question of whether the General Assembly shall issue state general obligation bonds in the amount of $3 billion for the purpose of K-12 school building construction, repair, or other capital projects related to the modernization of school facilities. The results would be advisory only and are intended only to demonstrate the preference of the citizens of the Commonwealth on the issuance of such bonds. The referendum would be held at the November 2020 general election.
SB 29 Budget Bill. Amends Chapter 854 of the 2019 Acts of Assembly.
SB 30 Budget Bill. Provides for all appropriations of the Budget submitted by the Governor of Virginia in accordance with the provisions of § 2.2-1509, Code of Virginia, and provides a portion of revenues for the two years ending respectively on the thirtieth day of June, 2021, and the thirtieth day of June, 2022.
SB 44 Public elementary and secondary school students; topical sunscreen. Permits any public elementary or secondary school student to possess and use topical sunscreen in its original packaging on a school bus, on school property, or at a school-sponsored event without a note or prescription from a licensed health care professional if the topical sunscreen is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for nonprescription use for the purpose of limiting damage to skin caused by exposure to ultraviolet light.
SB 54 Virginia Retirement System; retired law-enforcement officers employed as school security officers. Allows a retired law-enforcement officer to continue to receive his service retirement allowance during a subsequent period of employment by a local school division as a school security officer.
SB 71 Firearms on school property. Adds public, private, or religious preschools and child day centers that are not operated at the residence of the provider or of any of the children to the list of schools where possessing a firearm on school property or on a school bus is prohibited. Under current law, the list of such schools only includes public, private, or religious elementary, middle, or high schools.
SB 80 Student journalists; freedom of speech and the press. Declares that, except in certain limited circumstances, a student journalist at a public middle school or high school or public institution of higher education has the right to exercise freedom of speech and the press in school-sponsored media, including determining the news, opinion, feature, and advertising content of school-sponsored media, regardless of whether the media is supported financially by the school board or governing board, supported through the use of school or campus facilities, or produced in conjunction with a class or course in which the student is enrolled. The bill defines "school-sponsored media" as any material that is prepared, substantially written, published, or broadcast by a student journalist at a public middle school or high school or public institution of higher education under the direction of a student media adviser and distributed or generally made available to members of the student body.
SB 98 Public elementary and secondary school teachers; probationary term of service; performance evaluation. Removes (i) the option for local school boards to extend the three-year probationary term of service for teachers by up to two additional years and (ii) the prohibition against school boards reemploying any teacher whose performance evaluation during the probationary term of service is unsatisfactory.
SB 112 Public schools; standard diploma requirements; dual-enrollment and work-based learning options. Requires the Board of Education to include in its standard diploma graduation requirements the options for students to complete a dual-enrollment course or high-quality work-based learning experience.
SB 128 Department of Education; pilot program; feasibility of educational placement transition of certain students with disabilities. Requires the Department of Education and relevant local school boards to develop and implement a pilot program for up to four years in two to eight local school divisions in the Commonwealth. In developing the pilot, the Department is required to partner with the appropriate school board employees in each such local school division to (i) identify the resources, services, and supports required by each student who resides in each such local school division and who is educated in a private school setting pursuant to his Individualized Education Program; (ii) study the feasibility of transitioning each such student from his private school setting to an appropriate public school setting in the local school division and providing the identified resources, services, and supports in such public school setting; and (iii) recommend a process for redirecting federal, state, and local funds, including funds provided pursuant to the Children's Services Act, provided for the education of each such student to the local school division for the purpose of providing the identified resources, services, and supports in the appropriate public school setting. The bill requires the Department of Education to make a report to the Governor, the Senate Committees on Education and Health and Finance, and the House Committees on Education and Appropriations on the findings of each pilot program after two and four years.
SB 129 Public schools; firearm safety education program. Requires local school boards to provide firearm safety education programs for students in all grades. The bill requires (i) the Board of Education to establish curriculum guidelines for the program, in consultation with the Department of Criminal Justice Services; (ii) school boards to offer a minimum of two hours of instruction consistent with such guidelines; and (iii) that the program be taught by a school resource officer, other law-enforcement officer, or a United States Armed Forces instructor. The bill prohibits the use of firearms in the program. Current law allows local school boards to provide a firearm safety education program for students in the elementary grades and does not specify who may instruct such program.
SB 132 Public schools; electives on the Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament and the New Testament. Requires the Board of Education to authorize local school boards to offer as an elective in grades nine through 12 with appropriate credits toward graduation a course on the Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament of the Bible or the New Testament of the Bible or a combined course on both. The bill requires the Board of Education to develop Standards of Learning and curriculum guidelines for such courses. The bill provides that the purpose of such courses is to introduce students to biblical content, characters, poetry, and narratives that are prerequisites to understanding contemporary society and culture, including literature, art, music, mores, oratory, and public policy. The bill prohibits students from being required to use a specific translation of a religious text when taking the courses and provides that such courses shall maintain religious neutrality and shall not endorse, favor, promote, disfavor, or show hostility toward any particular religion or nonreligious perspective.
SB 134 School boards; teachers; planning time and planning periods. Requires each local school board to ensure that each elementary school teacher has an average of one 45-minute period per school day of planning time and that each middle and high school teacher is provided one planning period per school day or the equivalent, which shall be at least 45 minutes or one class period, whichever is longer. The bill permits local school boards and teachers to enter into an appropriate contractual arrangement providing for compensation in lieu of such planning time or period. Under current law, public elementary school teachers are guaranteed at least an average of 30 minutes of planning time per school day during a school week.
SB 135 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 142 Virtual Virginia. Requires that the Virtual Virginia Program, the statewide electronic classroom established by the Department of Education, be made available to all public schools. Currently, the program is available only to high schools. The bill requires the Department to utilize a learning management system for the purposes of implementing Virtual Virginia. The bill also authorizes the Department to charge a per-student fee to school divisions for each student enrolled in a full-time Virtual Virginia program beyond an initial allotment of 15 such students per school division and prohibits the Department from limiting the total number of such students by school division. The bill requires the Department to annually report on the Virtual Virginia Program to the General Assembly.
SB 151 School personnel; staffing ratios; 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 or at least one full-time equivalent school nurse position per 550 students in grades kindergarten through 12.
SB 159 Nondiscrimination in public employment. Prohibits discrimination in public employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, as defined in the bill. The bill also codifies for state and local government employment the current prohibitions on discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, or status as a veteran.
SB 161 Public elementary and secondary schools; treatment of transgender students; policies. Requires the Department of Education to develop and make available to each school board, no later than December 31, 2020, model policies concerning the treatment of transgender students in public elementary and secondary schools that address common issues regarding transgender students in accordance with evidence-based best practices and include information, guidance, procedures, and standards relating to (i) compliance with applicable nondiscrimination laws; (ii) maintenance of a safe and supportive learning environment free from discrimination and harassment for all students; (iii) prevention of and response to bullying and harassment; (iv) maintenance of student records; (v) identification of students; (vi) protection of student privacy and the confidentiality of sensitive information; (vii) enforcement of sex-based dress codes; and (viii) student participation in sex-specific school activities, events, and athletics and use of school facilities. The bill requires each school board to adopt, no later than the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, policies that are consistent with but may be more comprehensive than such model policies developed by the Department of Education.
SB 167 Dismissal of teachers; grounds; incompetency. Removes receipt of one or more unsatisfactory performance evaluations from the list of factors that "incompetency" may be construed to include for the purpose of establishing grounds for the dismissal of public school teachers.
SB 170 Public schools; school resource officers and school security officers; data. Requires the Department of Criminal Justice Services, in coordination with the Department of Education and the Department of Juvenile Justice, to annually collect, report, and publish data related to incidents involving students and school resource officers or school security officers. The bill also requires the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety to analyze and disseminate submitted data.
SB 171 School resource officers and school security officers; training standards. Requires school resource officers and school security officers to receive training specific to the role and responsibility of a law-enforcement officer working with students in a school environment that includes training on (i) relevant state and federal laws; (ii) school and personal liability issues; (iii) security awareness in the school environment; (iv) mediation and conflict resolution, including de-escalation techniques; (v) disaster and emergency response; (vi) awareness of cultural diversity and implicit bias; (vii) working with students with disabilities, mental health needs, substance abuse disorders, or past traumatic experiences; and (viii) student behavioral dynamics, including current child and adolescent development and brain research.
SB 173 Prohibition on possession of stun weapon on school property; exemption for holder of concealed handgun permit. Allows the holder of a valid concealed handgun permit to possess a stun weapon on school property while in a motor vehicle in a parking lot, traffic circle, or other means of vehicular ingress or egress to the school.
SB 176 School holidays; certain election days. Prohibits local school boards from requiring students to attend school on the second Tuesday in June or the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The bill also prohibits parent-teacher conferences and meetings from being held on those dates.
SB 186 Department of Education; individualized education program teams; guidelines. Requires the Department of Education to establish guidelines for individualized education program (IEP) teams to utilize when developing IEPs for children with disabilities to ensure that IEP teams consider the need for age-appropriate instruction related to sexual health, self-restraint, self-protection, respect for personal privacy, and personal boundaries of others. The bill requires each local school board, in developing IEPs for children with disabilities, in addition to any other requirements established by the Board of Education, to ensure that IEP teams consider such guidelines.
SB 221 School boards and local law-enforcement agencies; memorandums of understanding; frequency of review and public input. Shortens from every five years to every two years the frequency of the review period for memorandums of understanding between school boards and local law-enforcement agencies. The bill also requires local school boards to conspicuously publish the current division memorandum of understanding on its division website and provide notice and opportunity for public input and discussion during each memorandum of understanding review period.
SB 232 Menstrual supplies; certain school buildings. Requires each school board to make tampons and pads available at all times and at no cost to students in the bathrooms of each public school at which any student in grades five through 12 is enrolled and at which at least 40 percent of enrolled students are eligible for free or reduced lunch.
SB 234 Department of Human Resources Management; health insurance for local school board employees. Allows local school boards to elect to have all of their employees and retirees, as well as the dependents of such employees and retirees, be eligible to participate in the state employee health insurance plan in lieu of the current state-administered local health insurance plan. Any participating local school board shall be responsible for whatever portion of the cost of such insurance is not paid by the employee, except any portion that the General Assembly elects to pay.
SB 237 School attendance officers; petitions for violation of a school attendance order. Provides that an attendance officer, or a division superintendent or his designee when acting as an attendance officer, may complete, sign, and file a petition for a violation of a school attendance order in response to the filing of a petition alleging the pupil is a child in need of supervision with the intake officer of the juvenile and domestic relations district court on a form approved by the Virginia Supreme Court.
SB 238 Public schools; kindergarten instructional time. Increases from 540 hours to 990 hours the minimum instructional hours in a school year for students in kindergarten, beginning July 1, 2022. The bill directs the Board of Education to adopt regulations by July 1, 2022, establishing standards for accreditation that include a requirement that the standard school day for students in kindergarten average at least 5.5 instructional hours in order to qualify for full accreditation.
SB 249 School Divisions of Innovation; performance-based assessments. Allows a local school board, when applying for its school division to be designated as a School Division of Innovation, to apply to the Board of Education to replace the Virginia Studies and Civics and Economics Standards of Learning assessments with performance-based assessments. The bill requires any such application to (i) demonstrate that the proposed performance-based assessment requires that students demonstrate the knowledge and skills required by the relevant Standards of Learning and that students demonstrate one or more of the skills and qualities of critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, or citizenship and (ii) provide evidence of the local school board's capacity to administer and score performance-based assessments.
SB 275 School enrollment; students formerly in foster care. Provides for the immediate enrollment of any student who was in foster care upon reaching 18 years of age but who has not yet reached 22 years of age for whom the local department of social services or child-placing agency is unable to produce documents normally required for enrollment. Under current law, an exception to the requirement for such documentation is provided only to students currently in foster care.
SB 323 High school graduation requirements; advanced diploma; standard units of credit; certain substitutions. Requires the Board of Education, in establishing high school graduation requirements, to pemit any student who is pursuing an advanced studies diploma to substitute two standard units of credit in computer science for two standard units of credit in a foreign language.
SB 324 School bus drivers; critical shortages. Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction, with the assistance of each school board or division superintendent, to survey each local school division to identify critical shortages of school bus drivers by geographic area and local school division and to report any such critical shortage to each local school division and to the Virginia Retirement System.
SB 339 Public schools; immunization rates. Requires each school board to publish on the official school division website for each school in the school division the number of students admitted to the school with documentary proof of immunization, the number of students who have been admitted with a medical or religious exemption, and the number of students who have been conditionally admitted.
SB 341 Construction management and design-build contracting; use by state and local public bodies. Authorizes all state and local public bodies to use construction management contracts for projects with a cost expected to exceed $26 million. For projects where the cost is not expected to exceed $26 million, state and local public bodies must make written determination that competitive sealed bidding is not practicable or fiscally advantageous, document the basis for the determination to use construction management or design-build, and follow statutorily mandated procedures. The bill also amends the definition of "complex project."
SB 367 Department of Education; student growth measurement system. Directs the Department of Education to obtain an individualized student growth measurement system that tracks and analyzes student growth indicators. The bill requires that the student growth measurement system be implemented during the 2022-2023 school year.
SB 377 Teacher grievance procedures; hearing; three-member fact-finding panel. Permits a school board to conduct a teacher grievance hearing before a three-member fact-finding panel consisting of one member selected by the teacher, one member selected by the division superintendent, and an impartial hearing officer selected by the other two panel members, to serve as the chairman of the panel. Under current law, the school board has the option of appointing a hearing officer or conducting such hearing itself. The bill also removes the requirement that a teacher grievance hearing be set within 15 days of the request for such hearing and extends from five days to 10 days the minimum period of advanced written notice to the teacher of the time and place of such hearing.
SB 390 Public schools; Standards of Learning assessments. 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.
SB 392 Local school boards; lead testing; report. Requires each local school board to submit its plan to test and remediate certain potable water sources and report the results of any such test to the Department of Health.
SB 410 Public school buildings; testing for Legionella bacteria; review; report. Requires each school board to test each public school building in the local school division for the presence of Legionella bacteria at such regular intervals as the school board deems necessary to maintain the health and decency of such buildings. The bill requires the Department of Education to make recommendations for the frequency of testing for the presence of Legionella bacteria in public school buildings and to notify each local school board of its recommendations no later than September 1, 2020. The bill also requires each public elementary and secondary school to maintain files of its Legionella bacteria test results and make such files available for review and the division superintendent to report such results to the Department of Health.
SB 420 Public schools; seizure treatment and training. Provides for the submission and utilization of seizure management plans for students with a seizure disorder. The bill requires that school nurses and certain school division employees complete an online course of instruction regarding treating students with seizure disorders. The bill also provides immunity from civil liability for acts or omissions related to providing for the care of a student under a seizure management plan.
SB 481 Earned paid sick time. Requires public and private employers with six or more employees to provide those employees with earned paid sick time. The measure 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 time in a year, unless the employer selects a higher limit. Employees shall not be entitled to use accrued earned paid sick time until the ninetieth calendar day following commencement of their employment, unless otherwise permitted by the employer. The bill provides that earned paid sick time may be used (i) for 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; (ii) to provide care to a family member under similar circumstances; (iii) when there is a closure of the employee's place of business or the employee's child's school or place of care due to a public health emergency; or (iv) when an employee's or employee's family member's presence in the community may jeopardize the health of others because of their exposure to a communicable disease. The bill 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 measure 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. The measure has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2021.
SB 500 Tax credit for teaching material expenses. Establishes an individual nonrefundable income tax credit of up to $250 for licensed teachers in taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2020, but before January 1, 2025, for the purchase price of materials used in teaching public primary or secondary school students that were purchased during the taxable year, provided that such purchases were neither reimbursed nor claimed as a deduction on the teacher's federal income tax return. The total amount of tax credits available for a taxable year shall not exceed $1 million. If the amount of the credit exceeds the taxpayer's tax liability for the taxable year in which the teaching materials were purchased, such excess may be carried over for five years.
SB 551 High school graduation requirements; standard diploma; workforce skills training. Requires the Board of Education, in establishing high school graduation requirements, to permit any student who has successfully completed during high school at least two years of workforce skills training as evidenced by written certification from the training provider to graduate with a standard diploma without completing the remaining credit requirements for such diploma.
SB 552 Regional alternative education programs; funding. Requires the funding transferred from the Department of Education to the relevant school divisions in support of a regional alternative education program to be based on each such school division's need for the current school year. Under current law, such funding is transferred based on data accumulated during the prior school year.
SB 594 Public School Security Equipment Grant Act of 2013; eligible security equipment. Classifies security-related devices located outside of the school building on school property and security-related devices located on school buses as eligible security equipment under the Public School Security Equipment Grant Act of 2013.
SB 595 Public School Security Equipment Grant Act of 2013; eligible security equipment; vaping detectors. Classifies vaping detectors as eligible security equipment under the Public School Security Equipment Grant Act of 2013.
SB 599 Superintendent of Public Instruction and Commissioner of Social Services; early childhood care and education. Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Commissioner of Social Services to (i) convene a stakeholder group to consider the development of a statewide unified public-private system for early childhood care and education in the Commonwealth and (ii) collaborate to develop a uniform quality rating and improvement system with required participation by publicly funded early childhood care and education programs and voluntary participation by privately funded providers.
SB 600 Elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth; racial segregation; repeal of provisions. Repeals several Acts of Assembly from 1901 to 1960 that contain provisions relating to the racial segregation of students in elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth.
SB 619 Teacher licensure; mental health first aid. Requires the Board of Education to amend its regulations related to teacher licensure to require that every person seeking initial licensure complete a Mental Health First Aid training or similar program and every person seeking renewal of a license complete an online module on mental health developed or approved by the Department of Education. The bill requires the Department of Education, in collaboration with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, to develop or approve one or more online modules on mental health by November 30, 2020.
SB 680 Teachers in certain schools for students with disabilities; provisional licenses; extension. Requires the Board of Education to extend for at least one additional year, but for no more than two additional years, the three-year provisional license of a teacher employed in a school for students with disabilities that is licensed by the Board upon receiving from the school administrator of such school (i) a recommendation for such extension and (ii) satisfactory performance evaluations for such teacher for each year of the original three-year provisional license. The provisions of the bill mirror current law relating to the extension of provisional licenses for public school teachers.
SB 691 School Guardian Fund and Program; establishment. Establishes the School Guardian Fund and requires the Virginia Center for School and Campus safety to establish and administer the School Guardian Program for the purpose of providing grants from the Fund on a competitive basis to school boards for the appointment or hiring of school guardians, which the bill defines as any individual, including any school resource officer, school security officer, or other school board employee, who is hired or appointed by a school board to carry a firearm on school property during normal school hours for school security purposes. The bill requires each such school guardian to receive an annual stipend of $500 for the performance of his duties. The bill requires the Center to (i) establish training and screening standards for such school guardians that include, at minimum, a requirement to receive a psychological screening and a drug screening prior to the commencement of school guardian duties and (ii) adopt such other rules and policies as it deems necessary for the administration of the Program, including rules and policies for grant applications and awards.
SB 728 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 a unit in the Department of Education to oversee work-based learning statewide in Standard 1 and requiring the Board of Education to establish and oversee the local implementation of teacher leader and teacher mentor programs and the establishment of a unit in the Department of Education to oversee principal mentorship statewide 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, and other licensed health and behavioral positions, per 1,000 students.
SB 729 School principals; incident reports. Eliminates the requirement that school principals report certain enumerated acts that may constitute a misdemeanor offense to law enforcement.
SB 779 Department of Education and Department of Environmental Quality; sixth grade science curriculum. Directs the Department of Education to coordinate with the Department of Environmental Quality to update the "Window into a Green Virginia" curriculum developed by the Departments for sixth grade science to include a unit on the benefits, including the energy benefits, of recycling and reuse.
SB 845 Local school boards; mold testing; parental notification. Requires each local school board to develop and implement a plan to test and, if necessary, remediate mold from sources identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as high priority for testing. The bill requires local school boards to give priority in the testing plan to schools whose school building was constructed, in whole or in part, before 1986 and to submit their testing plan and any testing results to the Department of Health. The bill also requires local school boards to take all steps necessary to notify the parents of all enrolled students if testing results indicate the presence of mold in a school building.
SB 847 Public schools; Standards of Learning assessments; 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 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 853 Public schools; anti-hate instruction. Requires the Department of Education to develop a model curriculum and teacher training module for providing age-appropriate instruction on genocide, racism, harassment, discrimination, and historical injustice in grades kindergarten through 12. Each local school board is required to implement the model curriculum and teacher training module by the 2022-2023 school year.
SB 880 Minimum staffing ratio for school counselors. Requires local school boards to employ school counselors in accordance with the following ratios, effective with the 2020%962021 school year: in elementary schools, one hour per day per 75 students, one full-time equivalent at 375 students, one hour per day additional time per 75 students or major fraction thereof; in middle schools, one period per 65 students, one full-time equivalent at 325 students, one additional period per 65 students or major fraction thereof; and in high schools, one period per 60 students, one full-time equivalent at 300 students, one additional period per 60 students or major fraction thereof. The bill also requires local school boards to employ one full-time equivalent school counselor position per 250 students in grades kindergarten through 12, effective with the 2021%962022 school year.
SB 910 Standards of Quality; state funding; ratios of teachers to English language learners. Requires state funding, pursuant to the general appropriation act, to be provided pursuant to Standard 2 of the Standards of Quality to support divisionwide ratios of English language learner students in average daily membership to full-time equivalent teaching positions as follows: (i) for each English language learner identified as proficiency level one, one position per 25 students; (ii) for each English language learner identified as proficiency level two, one position per 30 students; (iii) for each English language learner identified as proficiency level three, one position per 40 students; and (iv) for all other English language learners, one position per 58 students. Current law requires 17 full-time equivalent instructional positions for each 1,000 students identified as having limited English proficiency.
SB 933 Department of Education; common statewide definition; "students with limited or interrupted formal education." Requires the Department of Education to develop and adopt a common statewide definition for the term "students with limited or interrupted formal education" and to require school boards to report on the number of students who fall under such definition as part of the required data collection and reporting on average daily membership for the purposes of documenting any changes in such numbers over time and allowing for comparisons of such numbers across local school divisions. The bill provides that in developing and adopting such common statewide definition, the Department of Education shall consider and may adopt existing definitions of "students with limited or interrupted formal education."
SB 934 Board of Education; certain English language learner students; removal from certain non-academic school performance indicator calculations. Requires the Board of Education to permit any English language learner student who enters high school with an English language proficiency level of 1 or 2, has been enrolled in public schools in the Commonwealth for fewer than four semesters, and has a final four-year cohort status of dropout or unconfirmed to be removed from the calculation of the dropout rate and graduation and completion index non-academic school performance indicators for English language learner students under the Standards of Accreditation.
SB 977 Local governing body meetings; public comment. Requires a governing body to provide members of the general public with the opportunity for public comment during at least half of the regular meetings held each fiscal year.
SB 1020 Public schools; alternative accountability process. Allows a school board to adopt an alternative accountability process to provide a principal and parties involved in an incident involving assault, or assault and battery without bodily injury, that occurs on a school bus, on school property, or at a school-sponsored event an option to enter into a mutually agreed-upon process between the involved parties as an alternative to reporting such incident to law enforcement. The bill provides that a principal in a school division with such an alternative accountability process may attempt to engage the parties involved in such an incident in the process prior to reporting such incident to the local law-enforcement agency and prohibits, if provided for by the school board, a principal from reporting a party who successfully completes the alternative accountability process.
SB 1034 Department of Education; behavioral assessments and interventions. Directs the Department of Education to review and revise the Guidelines for Conducting Functional Behavioral Assessment and Developing Positive Behavior Intervention Supports and Strategies to align with research-based behavior science and best practices for functional behavior analysis. The bill also requires the Department to review and revise the content of the in-depth training provided to local school divisions on conducting functional behavioral analysis and developing quality behavior intervention plans.
SB 1087 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.
SB 1091 Authorization of volunteer school security officers by local school boards and private or religious schools.
SJ 15 Study; Department of Education to study teacher licensing process; report. Requests the Department of Education to study the teacher licensure process and the assessment requirements therein for any inherent biases that may prevent minority teacher candidates from entering the profession.
SJ 28 Study; JLARC; feasibility of adjusting the composite index of local ability to pay; report. Requires the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study the feasibility of adjusting the composite index of local ability to pay by (i) reviewing current statutory, constitutional, and budgetary provisions governing the calculation of Standards of Quality costs and funding; (ii) examining the components of the composite index of local ability to pay; (iii) evaluating other states' public school funding formulas; (iv) hearing local concerns and seeking input from various state and national experts, as applicable; and (v) determining the feasibility of reducing the local share under the Local Composite Index (LCI) in school divisions in which the locality is determined to have above-average fiscal stress or high fiscal stress by the Virginia Commission on Local Government in its most recent "Report on the Comparative Revenue Capacity, Revenue Effort, and Fiscal Stress of Virginia Counties and Cities."
SJ 57 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 75 Constitutional amendment (first resolution); 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 77 Study; Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety; firearm safety education in the Commonwealth's public schools; report. Requests the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety, in collaboration with the Department of Education, to study, develop, and recommend best practices for firearm safety education in the Commonwealth's public schools.