Homeschool Participation in Interscholastic Sports: HB 375 (Delegate Carrico) would require the governing body of interscholastic activities for public schools to develop and implement an exception to its rules addressing enrollment and eligibility of nonpublic school students. After an unusual turn, the bill was returned to Delegate Fralin's subcommittee to be discussed again on January 21. It did not pass the committee, but because of a strategic move by Delegate Cole, it was brought back up for discussion at the next subcommittee meeting with enough votes to pass. However, because it was not listed on the docket, it was moved that the bill be "passed by" for the day. It will be heard on Wednesday, January 30.
Home Instruction Statute Changes: HB 767 (Delegate Tata), suggested by the Virginia DOE in consultation with HEAV, VaHomeschoolers, and HSLDA, initiated two changes in the homeschool statute. The changes simplify the homeschool statute and increase the filing options for homeschoolers. HB 767 passed the full House 82-17. It must now pass the Senate and be signed by the Governor in order to become law.
Driver Education under DMV: HB 1540 (Delegate Hugo) moves driver education from the Department of Education to the DMV and repeals the homeschool driver education statute in the process. HEAV and HSLDA have been in communication with Delegate Hugo. We have requested that he include language that protects homeschool driver education laws such as the use of a correspondence course for the classroom portion of driver education and the allowance for parent-taught behind-the-wheel instruction. Delegate Hugo is agreeable and indicated he did not want to harm homeschoolers. The bill will be heard in committee this week.
Homeschool Testing Options: HB 1183 (Delegate Lingamfelter) was accepted by the Education subcommittee in a substitute version. The language had been amended at the request of HEAV, VaHomeschoolers, and HSLDA. Delegate Lingamfelter noted: "This is a bill that will take some of the pressure off of the superintendent by giving homeschoolers more options in evaluating homeschool progress. Virginia is one of the stingiest states in giving only one clear-cut type of assessment. This bill gives homeschool families options for assessment." All present voted to report HB 1183 except for Delegate Ebbin. It will now be heard in the full Education Committee.
MORE BILLS THAT COULD AFFECT HOMESCHOOLERS....
- Truancy and School Drop-Out Prevention - HB 1263 - Delegate Franklin P. Hall
- Public School Grade Placement Testing - HB 107 - Delegate Mark Cole
- Community College Scholarship Match Program - HB 117 and HB 512 - Delegates Steven Landes & Rosalyn R. Dance
- Automatic Admission to Colleges - HB 165 - Delegate David Poisson
Computers Added to School Supplies Sales Tax Holiday - HB 263 - Delegate Onzlee Ware
Increase in Driving Hours for Holders of Learner's Permits - HB 889 - Delegate Matthew J. Lohr
Teacher Expenses Tax Credit - HB 985 - Delegate David A. Nutter
Clarification of Two-Year College Transfer Grant - SB 148 - Senator Walter A. Stosch
--Updated from Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV)