Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Despite the Snow, The Day Was Busy

The snow delayed the start of subcommittee meetings – 7:30 meetings were moved to 9.  But once they got started, the day was busy and eventful.
Senator Janet Howell’s SJ218, a study addressing exit surveys for teachers leaving the profession and the teacher turnover rate, was reported from the Elementary and Secondary Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee to House Rules.  This study is sorely needed.

In Senate Finance, HB324, a very problematic virtual school bill which would have opened Virginia to corporate virtual providers, was amended by adding a reenactment clause requiring the bill to be taken up again next session before it goes into effect.  We can thank Senator Norment for making this motion.  This gives us a year to work the bill.

Senator Vogel’s SB1386, which would have required dyslexia training for initial licensure or licensure renewal, was tabled on a voice vote of the Elementary and Secondary Education Subcommittee on the Senate Education and Health Committee.

A-F School Grading is one step closer to being repealed, as the Education Reform Committee of House Education amended and reported SB727.
Speaking of dumb education policy ideas, OEI (state takeover entity) is one step close to being repealed, as the same subcommittee voted to report Senator Miller’s SB821.

In regard to these last two, slowly but surely Governor McDonnell’s misguided education agenda is being dismantled, even as his party controls both chambers.

The final Senate vote on the Tebow Bill (HB1626) was disappointing.  Senator Garrett offered a floor amendment, which was adopted, which made the bill local option.  The final vote was 22-13.

YEAS--Alexander, Black, Carrico, Chafin, Colgan, Cosgrove, Dance, Garrett, Hanger, Lewis, Martin, McDougle, McWaters, Newman, Obenshain, Reeves, Ruff, Smith, Stanley, Stuart, Vogel, Wagner--22.

NAYS--Barker, Deeds, Ebbin, Edwards, Favola, Howell, Locke, Marsden, McEachin, Miller, Petersen, Saslaw, Wexton--13.

RULE 36--0.

NOT VOTING--Lucas, Norment, Puller, Stosch, Watkins--5.

 Senator Dance stated that she voted yea on the question of the passage of  H.B. 1626, whereas she intended to vote nay.