Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly


At the 7:30 am meeting of House Counties, Cities and Towns Subcommittee #1, Delegate Hugo’s HB1744, giving local school boards the option to employ three person panels rather than hearing offices for teacher dismissal hearings, reported.  The bill was amended to remove the section relating to police and other local government employees.  Delegate Bob Marshall made the motion to report.  At his point the official vote of the subcommittee has not been posted.  The bill will be before the full Counties, Cities and Towns Committee on Friday morning.  

Delegate Dickie Bell’s HB1306, which would have required “each eleventh grade student to achieve a passing score on the civics portion of the U.S. Naturalization Test based on the current scoring guidelines adopted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services” to receive a diploma, failed to report from the House Education Committee on a 8-14 vote.

YEAS--Landes, Cole, Pogge, Massie, Bell, Richard P., Robinson, Farrell, Leftwich--8.

NAYS--Lingamfelter, Rust, Greason, LeMunyon, Yost, Yancey, Davis, McClellan, Tyler, Bulova, Keam, Hester, Preston, Lindsey--14.

Senator Janet Howell’s SJR218, which “requests the Department of Education to study the feasibility of implementing a program in the Commonwealth to track teacher turnover by developing exit questionnaires and other means” was reported from the Senate Finance Committee on a 14-0 vote.


Delegate Tag Greasons HB1550, which would have eliminated the post-Labor Day opening requirement died on a tie vote in the House Education Committee.

YEAS--Rust, Massie, Greason, LeMunyon, Robinson, Yost, Farrell, McClellan, Tyler, Bulova, Keam--11.

NAYS--Landes, Lingamfelter, Cole, Pogge, Bell, Richard P., Yancey, Davis, Leftwich, Hester, Preston, Lindsey--11.


Senator Obenshain’s SJR256, an amendment to the Constitution of Virginia to transfer charter granting authority from local school boards to the Board of Education passed on a 21-17 straight party-line vote.  The official vote is not yet posted as I write.

To be place of the ballot for consideration by the voters, the identical language has to pass in a subsequent session (2016).  Should it pass, this constitution amendment will open the door to corporate charters and forcing localities that have no desire to open charter schools to open them.