We’re officially more than halfway through the 2020 General Assembly session.
Lawmakers faced a Crossover deadline of Tuesday, meaning bills not approved by the House or Senate were killed and approved bills were sent to the other chamber for consideration.
I figured it’s be a good time to catch up on where education legislation stands as we head into the second half. These are in no particular order.
Student disorderly conduct
The Senate and House passed bills prohibiting students from being guilty of disorderly conduct if the action was on school property.
Both chambers passed bills requiring the Virginia Department of Education to craft model policies as it relates to the treatment of transgender students.
Maternity leave for teachers
A House subcommittee killed a bill to require school districts to have a paid maternity leave policy for teachers who have been with a district for at least two years.
A bill to create the Commission on School Construction and Modernization is poised to pass after clearing the Senate unanimously. Another bill to establish minimum standards for school facilities is also being voted upon favorably.
Lawmakers rejected taxing skill games in the name of funding grants for schools to fix their roofs, instead choosing to ban the games.
School facilities referendum
The Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee killed a bill that called for a statewide referendum on whether the state should take out $3 billion in bonds in the name of improving school facilities.
The House passed a bill to allow public sector employees, including teachers, to collectively bargain. It faces an uphill battle in the Senate.
Teacher planning time
The House and the Senate passed different versions of a bill to require school districts to increase the amount of planning time given to elementary school teachers from 30 minutes per school day to 45. Funding for the idea is in question.
A bill to require at least 24 hours' notice to parents before a lockdown drill is poised to pass after the House endorsed it unanimously.
Schools would be required to have free menstrual supplies for students in bills approved by the House and Senate.
Recovery high school
Chesterfield County could get a recovery-based high school that would be open to students in central Virginia who are battling substance abuse. The idea has passed the House.
Appointed school board salaries
After the Hanover School Board asked for permission to give itself a raise, lawmakers passed a bill to eliminate the annual salary limits for appointed school board members.
College athlete pay
Both chambers killed bills allowing college athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness. The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia is tasked with studying the idea.
Student loan servicers
The “Borrower’s Bill of Rights,” which requires student loan servicers to be regulated by the State Corporation Commission, passed the House and the Senate.
After years of advocacy, the beneficiaries of a federal program known as DACA that shields the children of undocumented immigrants from deportation are set to be eligible for in-state tuition rates.
Is an issue you’re interested in not listed? Let me know. I’d be happy to update you. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and my cell phone is 315-778-6925.
Expect a breakdown of the budget proposals from the House and Senate money committees in next week’s newsletter.
(ABOVE PHOTO BY MARK GORMUS/TIMES-DISPATCH: Members of the CVHAA Patriots surprise teammate Hannah Coley (31), (2nd from left), as they celebrate her 1000 point milestone prior to their game against Miller School on Feb. 6, 2020 in Chesterfield.)