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During the first full week of the 2015 General Assembly session, two of my main legislative initiatives came before the Senate Education and Health Committee. Both my SOL reform legislation and my physical activity for children in Kindergarten through 5th grade were heard and approved.

As a member of the SOL Innovation Committee, I have been working alongside 40 education stakeholders to help reform our Standards of Learning. We began meeting six months ago and have developed 12 recommendations. One of the most important ideas developed by the committee is to allow expedited retakes for elementary and middle school students who fail an SOL by 25 or fewer points. We currently allow retakes for high school students, but not those in lower grades...

Latest News

Jan28

The Virginia state Senate easily passed bills Tuesday that would require students in kindergarten through fifth grade to exercise an average of at least 20 minutes per day and direct the state Board of Education to develop regulations on the use of isolation and restraint of children in public schools.

State Sen. John Miller, the sponsor of the physical education bill, said this year’s version would not require any money or personnel; such measures have been criticized in past years as unfunded mandates on local school districts.

“This does not require a PE teacher; it doesn’t require a gym or any funding. It just requires an additional time for children to be active,” said Mr. Miller, Newport News Democrat.

Jan28

Amendments to the constitution must be approved by the General Assembly twice, with a general election between each vote, and must then be ratified by popular vote.

A second proposal, Democratic Sen. John Miller's SB824, would permit a question on the ballot this fall for voters to answer whether the constitution should be amended to create a redistricting commission. The referendum would be advisory, although plenty of evidence suggests the concept has popular support.

A poll released this week by Christopher Newport University's Wason Center for Public Policy showed that a majority of respondents supported the idea that an independent commission should draw district boundaries.

Blog

During the first full week of the 2015 General Assembly session, two of my main legislative initiatives came before the Senate Education and Health Committee.  Both my SOL reform legislation and my physical activity for children in Kindergarten through 5th grade were heard and approved.

As a member of the SOL Innovation Committee, I have been working alongside 40 education stakeholders to help reform our Standards of Learning.  We began meeting six months ago and have developed 12 recommendations.

The 2015 session of the Virginia General Assembly began today and there are many important issues to consider. During this session we need to close a nearly half billion budget deficit, continue reform of our mental health and education systems and strengthen ethics legislation.