Friday, February 15, 2013

Bully Bill Advances/State Takeover Vote Delayed

Two things of note occurred on this busy day at the General Assembly.  First, Delegate McClellan’s anti- bullying bill, HB 1871, which was initiated by VEA, was on second reading today in the Senate, and will be on the third and final reading on Monday.

The second item is that the final Senate vote on HJR 693 was delayed.  Two constitutional amendments, right-to-work and secret-ballot, failed on 18-22 votes.  Twenty Democrats and two Republicans (Blevins and Watkins) voted NAY.  Much of the debate centered on how important it is not to junk up the constitution by amending it to reflect every political whim.

Then it was time to take up the state takeover of public schools constitutional amendment (HJR 693), and Senator McDougle asked that it go by for the day.  Presumably, the final vote will be on Monday.

The Senate amended the provisions of the amendment to include unaccredited schools and all schools accredited with warning.  Check this chart to see if your school would be subject to state takeover if this amendment became part of the Constitution of Virginia.

It should be noted that the number of schools will likely increase as the school pass rates (AMOs) increase subject to Virginia’s waiver to NCLB.
Please call your Senator this weekend urging opposition to HJR 693.