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2011 Legislative Summary

Homeschool Access to Public School Sports
HB 2395 As anticipated again this year, sports access for homeschoolers is a topic of heated discussion in the General Assembly. Both Delegate Robert Bell (R-Charlottesville) and Delegate David Nutter (R-Christiansburg) introduced similar sports access bills which were combined to become HB 2395. (Update January 21, 2011) After passing out of an education subcommittee, sports access for homeschoolers was “passed-by” in the full House Education Committee. Committee chairman Bob Tata (R-Virginia Beach) called for a study of sports access to be conducted in the summer of 2011 with the purpose of seeing how other states handle sports access. (Update Jan. 25, 2011) At the conclusion of the study committee in November, no recommendation was made.  (Update with picture Nov. 22, 2011)

Driver Education in Planning District 8
HB 2439, sponsored by Mark D. Sickles (D-Franconia) and introduced by VaHomeschoolers, will make the viewing of a 90-minute parent/student driver-education film available to private and homeschooled students and their parents in Planning District 8. This is required to obtain a driver’s license in Planning District 8 only. Although the law requires both parents and students to view a 90-minute film, some schools have not allowed homeschoolers to have access to the film. PASSED (Update Feb. 22)

Immunization Exemptions for Home-Instructed Children
HB 2291, sponsored by Mark D. Sickles (D-Franconia), allows a licensed nurse practitioner, in addition to a licensed physician, to provide written certification that an immunization may be detrimental to a homeschool child’s health.  PASSED (Update Feb. 22)

Repeal of the HPV Immunization
HB 1419, sponsored by Kathy J. Byron (R-Lynchburg), would have eliminated the requirement for the human papillomavirus vaccination (HPV) to be given to female children. FAILED (Update Feb. 22)

Tax Credits for Donations to Nonprofit Organizations Providing Scholarships
HB 2314, sponsored by James P. “Jimmie” Massie, III (R-Richmond), establishes a tax credit for corporations donating money to nonprofit organizations that provide scholarships to qualified students who attend non-public elementary or secondary schools. This does not include homeschools. FAILED (Update Feb. 22)

Virginia State Virtual Schools
HB 2311, sponsored by Richard P. Bell (R-Staunton), establishes “Virginia State Virtual School” as a policy agency in the executive branch of government. Its purpose is to govern the online educational programs and services offered to students enrolled in the Virginia State Virtual School. HEAV carefully watched this bill and its progress in order to protect the rights of homeschoolers. FAILED (Update Feb. 22)

Governor Proclaims Virginia Home Education Month
During HEAV’s Legislative Homeschool Day at the Capitol, Governor McDonnell met with HEAV representatives and homeschoolers for a proclamation-signing ceremony in honor of Virginia Home Education Month. (Update with picture Feb. 22, 2011)

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