Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Abolishing A-F, Three Disppointments

One Step Closer to Abolishing A-F

With the passage of HB1672 it appears that VEA will likely succeed in our effort to "Abolish A-F grading of schools."  Ironically, the bill's sponsor, Delegate Tag Greason, carried the bill to create "A-F" in 2013 (HB1999).

Senator Black carried the Senate bill to repeal "A-F" (SB727), but the language that has passed out of the Senate is flawed, as it allows "A-F" enactment for one year.

The House language is an outright repeal.

Do you believe the dead shall walk again?  Well that is certainly the case with the House bills to eliminate the post-Labor Day opening requirement, Greason's HB1550 and Robinson's HB1838.  These two bills were pronounced dead on 2/4, but rose again on 2/5.  Again, the House in on record in support of ending the post Labor-day opening requirement.

Three Disappointments

A public money to private schools bill, HB2238, passed the House today on a very interesting vote.  One Democrat, Johnny Joannou voted wrong, and ten Republicans sided with us (Bloxom, Campbell, Helsel, Kilgore, O'Quinn, Pillion, Rush, Rust, Yancey and Yost).  I'll be providing much more information about this bill in the future.

Delegate Dickie Bell's HB1361, which opens the door to corporate virtual education providers, passed the House 62-38.  K-12, the corporate provider thrown out of Carroll County when the academic performance of student in their K-12 virtual school proved to be disappointing, was deeply involved in writing this legislation.  All Democrats and six Republicans (Edmunds, Helsel, O'Quinn, Rust, Ware, and Yost) voted right.

Delegate Rob Bell’s Constitutional Amendment (HJ577) to transfer the authority to grant a charter for a charter school from local school boards to the Board of Education passed on a 58-41 vote.  Two Democrats voted wrong (Filler-Corn and Joannou) while 12 Republicans voted right (Albo, Bloxom, Campbell, Edmunds, Helsel, Hugo, Kilgore, Miller, O’Quinn, Pillion, Rust and Yost).  An identical measure, Obenshain’s SJ256, already passed the Senate.  We will have one more chance to defeat this amendment in the 2016 session.  It must pass in two sessions with an intervening election if it is to go on the ballot.