VASC Advocacy Update
August 14, 2014
Key Lobbying Efforts Succeed:
SOL Reform: HB 930/SB 306 passed this past session and seriously reduced the number
of SOLs given in grades 3-8. In addition to a 23% reduction in testing (from 22 to 17)
the bills also set up the SOL Innovation Committee whose job will be to seek future
SOL reforms, revisions and reductions to better serve the public school students in the
School Grading Delay: HB1229/SB 324 passed this past session and has delayed
implementation of the A-F school grading system to no earlier than October 1,
2016. This will allow time for legislators and the Board of Education to develop
better measurement metrics and possibly find an alternate way to help schools and
Mental Health Reforms: Several reforms were made help those experiencing mental
health crises, help the mental health response system, and protect the general population.
SB 260 extended EOC from 4+2 hours to a straight 8 hours, allowing CSBs more time to
find beds for those in need.
On the Horizon:
Legislation is being studied and research to see if implanting Mental Health Screening
and Services for public school children is feasible in the Commonwealth. Please contact
your State legislatures if you have strong opinions about this. You can also contact Matt
Lord at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to express your thoughts as a VASC member.
Along with the VSCA we have been pushing for the return of a full time School
Counseling position at VDoE. Our lobbyist, Becky Bowers-Lanier, has had discussions
with contacts in VDoE about this and other issues. More to come as this unfolds.
The VDoE Standards for School Counseling Programs in Virginia is in need of review
and revision. We continue to talk with VDoE staff about making sure this gets done
before the end of 2014 and that VASC are at the table for the review and revision