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2009 Legislative Summary

State Financial Aid Available for Homeschool Graduates
SB 1547 Homeschool graduates who are accepted to Virginia colleges can qualify for federal financial aid and some state funds. Now, thanks to Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-Fairfax) they can also receive money from the Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program (VGAP). The VGAP is a need- and merit-based undergraduate grant program. The program’s average yearly awards in ’07-’08 were $3,671 for a community college student and $3,848 for a four-year college student. PASSED (Update March 2, 2009)

Driver Education Threatened
HB 2605 There was an attempt by Delegate Timothy Hugo (R-Centreville) to transfer the responsibility for driver’s training from the Department of Education to DMV. This bill would have eliminated parent-taught driver education for homeschoolers. HEAV immediately shared our concerns with Delegate Hugo who did not want to harm homeschoolers. He quickly agreed to reinstate the homeschool language; however, we still could not support the bill because of the past difficulty we have had in working with the DMV. At our request, Delegate Hugo agreed to withdraw the bill. FAILED (Update March 2, 2009)

Text Messaging While Driving Prohibited
HB 1876 Sending or reading text messages while driving is now prohibited according to a bill sponsored by Delegate John Cosgrove, R-Chesapeake. PASSED (Update March 2, 2009)

Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of Homeschool Statute Recognized
HJ 775, SJ 385 The House and Senate commended homeschoolers on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the homeschool statute. Delegate Bob Tata (R-Virginia Beach) and Senator Ed Houck (D-Fredericksburg) presented joint resolutions on the House and Senate floors. Homeschool leaders and homeschoolers in attendance were publicly recognized. Governor Tim Kaine joined homeschool guests and other legislators at a reception at the General Assembly. PASSED (Update with pictures March 2, 2009)

Tax Credits for School Supplies
SB1278
, HB1976 Legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Newman (R-Forest) and Delegate R. Lee Ware (R-Powhatan) would provide an income tax credit beginning January 1, 2009, equal to 100 percent of the amount paid by a taxpayer for school supplies for use by students in public or private schools or students being homeschooled. The credit amount may not exceed $125 for individual taxpayers and $250 for taxpayers filing jointly. FAILED (Update Jan. 24, 2009)

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