What State Level Legislation Activity Exists?

There are three active 2017 VA Legislative Session Class Size Bills under development in Richmond. CSC has worked with teachers, parents and lawmakers to produce 3 support flyers explaining the bills in detail and advocate for needed responsible change with class size issues:

Support HB1498 flyer – lower state class size caps

Support HB2173 flyer – science lab class size limits due for safety sake

Support HB2174 flyer – transparency on middle and high school class sizes.

Help CSC and these officials advocate for more bi-partisan support of the following:

1) HB 1498Lowers elementary school class size caps from 29 to 28 in Kindergarten, 30 to 28 in Grades 1-3, and 35 to 29 in Grades 4-6.  Delegate Jim LeMunyon (67th District) is the Chief Patron, Delegate Mark Keam (35th District) is the Chief Co-Patron, and Delegates Jennifer Boysko (86th District), Kaye Kory (38th District) and J. Randall Minchew (10th District) are Co-Patrons.

In this bill, 4th through 6th grade class size caps would be reduced from 35 to 29 students and KG through 3rd grade caps would be reduced to 28 students.

Delegate Kathleen Murphy (34th District) is the Chief Patron, and Senator Janet D. Howell (32nd District), John J. Bell (87th District),  Delegate Jim LeMunyon and Delegate Mark Keam are Co-Patrons on HB 2173 & HB 2174.

2. HB 2173

HB 2173 would cap science lab classes at 24 students, consistent with safety recommendations by the American Chemistry Society, the National Science Teachers Association, and the National Science Education Leadership Association.

3. HB 2174

HB 2174 would include two reporting requirements so that all Virginia public middle and high schools publish and report their core academic class sizes. Although some middle and high schools provide this information to VA DOE voluntarily, many, including FCPS middle and high schools, generally do not. Without the knowledge of actual core academic class sizes, Virginia public school administrators cannot implement effective measures to improve instruction and ensure educational quality and safe learning environments.

What can you do?

Reach out and communicate with other parents, teachers, your principal, CSC and your officials. Read the  CSC Anecdotes report from parents and teachers, their realities and perspective with regard to large class sizes over the past 4 years. Use your examples or theirs to work towards fairness and change.

Contact your state delegate & state senator to ask them to co-patron these important class size bills.

Virginia’s General Assembly sessions start @ January 12 and ends in late March 2017. Please write your state delegate and state senator, as well as legislators on the core education subcommittees , and ask them to support HB 1498, HB 2173 & HB 2174. See the list of VA state legislators involved in K-12 education bills.

To find the names and contact information for your state delegate and state senator, input your home address on Virginia’s “Who’s My Legislator” web page.