Thursday, February 9, 2012

Virginia General Assembly - #3640 - HB947 'Tebow' Homeschool Bill Passes House 59-39 - Family Foundation (2) SB349 - Conscience Clause Protections for Private Child Placement Agencies (3) School Choice Rally in Richmond Supporting SB241, HB321 - Family Foundation

In the wake of yesterday’s school choice rally at the Capitol, the Virginia House of Delegates today passed legislation that begins to equal the playing field for those who have chosen to educate their children at home, the “Tebow Bill,” by a vote of 59-39. Never before has this bill passed the House Floor in Virginia. The bill, patroned by Delegate Rob Bell (R-58, Charlottesville) and supported by Governor Bob McDonnell, which simply prohibits the Virginia High School League from discriminating against home school kids, met fierce opposition from the education establishment in Virginia, exposing their disdain for anyone that chooses to educate their children outside the public schools. Next, the bill will encounter the Senators of Virginia, and they will determine its fate. Va. Senate Contact List....... Va. Senate 17th District- Bryce Reeves (R) 804-698-7517, Va. Senate 25th District, Creigh Deeds (D) 804-698-7525.  Please call.  Photo contributed by Steve Peters.
SB349 - Conscience Clause Protections for Private Child Placement Agencies - Family Foundation Also today, the state Senate rejected multiple amendments to SB 349, conscience clause protections for private child placement agencies. Each of the eighteen amendments by Senate liberals would have watered down the bill. Patron Jeff McWaters (R-8, Virginia Beach) defended the bill throughout the half hour debate and each of the amendments was defeated 22-17 with two Democrats joining all 20 Republicans. You can see how Senators voted on the various amendments here. Defeating all the amendments was a crucial victory for the bill. Tomorrow, the Senate will take the final vote on the measure.  Please call your Senators on this Bill as well.  Photo contributed by Steve Peters.

School Choice Rally, Richmond, Virginia - SB241, HB321 The grounds outside the state Capitol today were buzzing with excitement as an estimated 650 strong assembled on the historic grounds of the Capitol clad in yellow scarfs to promote school choice. Governor Bob McDonnell was the first to speak to what he called a “show of force” in regards to educational freedom. Gov. McDonnell emphasized that this was a priority bill for him, and this was a very simple and prudent step forward. The Governor warned “if we are going to continue to be a leader in technology and science we have got to continue to have greater choice and greater quality in education”.  The bills highlighted today were SB 241 and HB 321, patroned by Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-26, Harrisonburg) in the Senate and Delegate Jimmie Massie (R-72, Henrico) in the House. Both Senator Obenshain and Delegate Massie spoke with great passion and purpose in regards to school choice. Delegate Massie spoke to the fact that the parents are in the best position to choose where a child should go to school not their zip code. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli encouraged the crowd to contact their legislators, and that this is the right course for Virginia; a course that offers more options for parents and more opportunity for children. The Attorney General also noted that this bill is constitutionally sound and good for the budget. Contact your Senator and Delegate today and urge them to support school choice and vote yes on SB 241 and HB 321 when the bills reach their respective chambers. As Gov. McDonnell said, “Democracy only works if people get involved.” Please get involved with school choice.  Senate contact information above.  Delegate Contact Information.........  Va. House - 58th District - Rob Bell  (R)- 804-698-1058, 25th District Steve Landes (R) 804-698-1025, 57th District - David Toscano (D) 804-698-1057.  Photos contributed by Steve Peters.  

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