Check out these key votes made by elected officials in Virginia earlier this year, and go to www.votespotter.com to sign up and see how your elected officials voted on these and other issues that impact your daily life.
Senate Bill 1283, Allow state to establish charter schools: Passed 21 to 19 in the Senate on February 7 and 54 to 43 in the House on February 20
To allow the state Board of Education to establish regional charter schools. Current law gives the power to establish charter schools to local boards of education. In effect, this law would make it easier for charter schools to open in Virginia.
House Bill 1536, Ban grade school suspensions and expulsions: Passed 49 to 47 in the House on February 6 and 33 to 7 on February 13
To prohibit students up to third grade from being suspended for more than five days or expelled except for drug, firearm, and certain other criminal offenses.
House Resolution 431, Encourage college free speech: Passed 64 to 31 in the House on February 22
To encourage public higher education institutions to protect free speech and develop policies that outline how they will deal with public policy controversies.
House Bill 1605, Provide parents with funding for education expenses: Passed 49 to 47 in the House on February 7 and 21 to 19 in the Senate on February 21
To establish an education savings accounts that parents can use to pay for education expenses such as books, tuition, or fees at private schools that do not discriminate by race. The money for these accounts would come from their local school division and be equal to a certain percentage of the per-pupil funding in that district.
House Bill 1578, Allow home schoolers to participate in school sports (the “Tebow Bill”): Passed 60 to 38 in the House on January 24 and 22 to 18 in the Senate on February 13
To allow a home schooled student to participate in interscholastic programs, such as sports, offered by public schools.
Senate Bill 1428, Expand education tax credits for students with disabilities: Passed 23 to 17 in the Senate on February 3 and 61 to 35 in the House on February 7
To remove the requirement that a student with a disability be enrolled in public school to be able to use the education improvement scholarships tax credit. The bill also increases the amount of the tax credit from 100% to 400% of the per-pupil funding amount given by the state to the local school district.
Senate Bill 1242, Establish school choice program: Failed 20 to 20 in the Senate on February 6
To allow parents of a public school students to receive a savings account from their local school district that can be used to pay for a variety of educational expenses, including tuition and fees at a private school. Participating private schools could not discriminate on the basis of race, color, or national origin.