Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Dyslexia Training, FOIA Shield, Statewide Health Insurance, Charter School Constitutional Amendment

Thanks to good work on the part of VEA President Meg Gruber and others, HB842, Delegate Cline’s bill addressing the need for Virginia’s teachers to be trained to identify dyslexic students and respond with appropriate teaching methods is being sent back to subcommittee for a little more work.  Our concern is that the current bill burdens prospective and current teachers with the cost of the training.

VEA initiated HB524, carried by Delegate LeMunyon, reported unanimously from the House Education Committee Subcommittee on Elementary and Secondary Education.  This is the bill that shields teacher performance data from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.  
Our Statewide Health Insurance bills (Vogel’s SB384 and Chafin’s SB675) went by for the day, as Senators Vogel and Chafin,  Delegates Jones and Kilgore, and  the Director of the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management Sarah Wilson are working on an agreement between the Senate and the House on this issue.  VEA is deeply appreciative of the efforts being made by all parties, and our hope is that the outstanding issues can be address in time to pass a bill this session.

VEA lobbyists are frantically working to prevent passage of the Constitutional Amendment that shifts the decision making process regarding charter schools from where it rightfully belongs with the local school board to the nine member Virginia Board of Education appointed by the Governor.

Please point out to the members of your city council or board of supervisors and the members of your school board that should HJR1 and SJR6 pass that Nine members of the Virginia Board of Education, appointed by the Governor, could require the localities you represent to build, staff, and administer a charter school regardless of local needs, fiscal constraints or desires.  Ask them to contact the delegates and senators representing your locality urging them to vote NO on these resolutions.