Dear Friend,

It’s always interesting to see the trends in education during the General Assembly session. This year the term “innovation in education” was used over and over. In most cases, it referred to the development of more charter schools and the expansion of government virtual schools--NOT to be confused with parent-directed homeschools.

HEAV’s legislative team continued to protect the rights of homeschool families by our presence at the Capitol and by our behind-the-scenes work reviewing almost 3,000 bills.

We actively followed more than thirty bills of particular interest to homeschooling families. Below are the outcomes of some of the most important legislation we followed. Pending Governor McAuliffe’s signature, all new laws will be implemented July 1, 2017.

It is our privilege to identify and alert Virginia's home-educating families of legislation that threatens individual liberty, parental sovereignty, or the rights of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children. If you are not yet a member of HEAV, please join today!

Best regards,

Yvonne Bunn
Director of Government Affairs
Home Educators Association of Virginia

2017 Legislative Session Wrap-Up
AP and PSAT Notification HB 2355 (Pogge, R-James City and York Co.) and SB 1414 (Newman, R-Lynchburg)
As requested by HEAV and HSLDA, these companion bills clarify language making Advanced Placement (AP), PreACT, and Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) examinations available to homeschool students. In addition, they require local school boards to (1) adopt written policies that specify the date by which students must register to take the tests, and (2) notify homeschoolers of the registration deadline and the availability of financial assistance to low-income students who register. PASSED


Sports Access HB 1578 (Bell, R-Albemarle)
This bill states that no public school can be a member of an organization (e.g. the Virginia High School League) that does not allow qualified homeschoolers to participate in sports and other interscholastic activities. The student must show evidence of progress for two consecutive academic years and be in compliance with immunization requirements. The bill permits reasonable fees. The provision expires July 1, 2022. PASSED; VETOED BY GOVERNOR MCAULIFFE


Dual Enrollment in Public School HB 2007 (Bell, R-Albemarle)
This bill requires each school board to permit any student who is homeschooled and resides in the local school division to apply for enrollment as a part-time student in any dual-enrollment course offered by a community college at a public high school or at a comprehensive community college that has an agreement with the local school. The bill specifies that no homeschool student shall be required to pay more in tuition or fees than those paid by public school students who enroll in such courses. FAILED


Parental Choice Education Savings Accounts HB 1605 (LaRock, R-Loudoun) and SB 1243 (Dunnavant, R-Henrico) 
These similar bills allow certain qualified public school students to move state funds into a savings account. The funds may be used for payment for a private school, sectarian or nonsectarian school, or preschool. The bill permits the parent to use the moneys for certain education-related expenses of the student, including tuition, deposits, fees, and required textbooks at a private, sectarian or nonsectarian elementary or secondary school, or preschool that is located in the Commonwealth. HB 1605 PASSED; SB 1243 FAILED


Colleges Must Develop Policies for Dual-Enrollment Credits HB 1662 (Greason, R-Loudoun)
This bill requires the establishment of policies for granting general-education course credit to freshmen students who have successfully completed dual-enrollment courses and enter public institutions of higher education. PASSED


Academic Credit for American Sign Language Courses HB 1512 (Bell, R-Staunton). 
This bill requires public institutions of higher education to accept credits for successful completion of American Sign Language (ASL) courses taken in a secondary school or another institution of higher education toward satisfaction of the foreign language entrance, placement, and course credit requirements at the institution. ASL will satisfy the foreign language course credit requirements of the institution of higher education. PASSED
Copyright © 2017 Home Educators Association of Virginia, All rights reserved.

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