Jan 24

General Assembly Report – January 23

What a difference a day makes – especially in the 2012 Session.  The Governor’s initiatives and bills are bumping up against each other, there are so many of them!  And while we wait for the teacher’s grievance bill, many others are whizzing by.

Today in House Education, there was quite a discussion about reporting or mandating a “solution” for classroom funding. One bill turned the 65% solution into the 67% solution while another, sponsored by Delegate Habeeb, called for reporting before mandating.  We shall see – but we are betting on Delegate Habeeb’s view that basically comports with the Governor’s language in the budget.  Our conversations with subcommittee members and the patrons have stressed the importance of maintaining the Governor’s language, re: calculating spending  based on SOQ positions rather than certain other definitions that do not include principals or assistant principals under the umbrella of “classroom expenditures.”  Delegate Habeeb has assured me that he understands our concerns and is acceptable to that language.

In what was a very positive outcome for VASSP in Senator Blevins’ Public Education Subcommittee, Senator Miller’s PE bill (to mandate 30 minutes of activity each day, K-12)  will not go forward.  I shared with the patron your serious objections to the bill earlier in the week including those related to time constraints, oversight, facilities issues and the importance of allowing students enough time to complete their educational objectives.  Although the Senator has very strong concerns and opinions related to obesity, he agreed to strike the bill – for 2012 at least.

Flying right along, Delegate Stolle called to ask if VASSP would be willing to meet with him, the Department of Labor and VASS to discuss how to streamline the issue of work permits.  His bill would raise the age requirement for a work permit for students from 16 to 18.  I shared VASSP concerns with Delegate Stolle and he is open for more discussion, although the word is that he would have little problem getting the bill passed in the House, and likely the Senate as well.