VACo opposes bill mandating every school division provide alternative education program

January 24, 2019

VACo spoke in opposition to HB 2387 (Bulova) that would require local school boards to provide alternative education programs for suspended students and assign licensed instructional personnel for such programs at division-wide ratios of students to full-time equivalent teaching at a ratio of 10 to 1. Though the provisions of the bill would become effective after the rebenchmarking of the direct aid to public education budget for the 2020-2022 biennium, and thus receive state funding support through the Standards of Quality, this mandate would still require additional local funding, staffing, and remove certain existing flexibilities.

Currently, local school divisions are not required to provide alternative education programs to suspended students and must give information regarding the availability of community-based educational programs, alternative education programs or other educational options. This bill would eliminate the option of referring students to community based-programs and other options, and instead require the local school division to manage and staff its own alternative program.

The House Education Committee voted 17-4 to report HB 2387 to the House Appropriations Committee on January 21.

VACo Contact: Jeremy Bennett

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