20 Jan Seal of Biliteracy Passes House and Senate
Colleagues, an update on the progress of Seal of Biliteracy legislation in Virginia:
Seal of Biliteracy bills passed easily in both the House of Delegates (HB1351) and Senate (SB916). The key difference is what criteria would be considered for awarding the Seal to a student. The Senate version says the Board needs to create the criteria and suggests a few possible ideas. The House version specifies which criteria would have to be accepted. Based on previous discussions, the sentiment of this group would be with the Senate version; having the Board create the criteria, hopefully with input from FLAVA and VFLSA.
Both chambers rejected the other’s version, which means the issue will go to a conference committee of 3 members from each chamber to hash out the differences. The Senate appointed McWaters, Wexton, and Smith to the conference committee. The House of Delegates has not yet specified who they will appoint to the conference committee. When they do, let’s be sure to let all the conference committee members know why it would be a good idea to let the Board establish the criteria with more input from educators.
Another bit of good news: HB2218 (proposed by Del. Hope of Arlington), which would have expanded the concept of the foreign language requirement to include programming languages, did not make it through committee. While programming languages are wonderful to learn, they should not replace languages used for human-to-human communication. We will need to keep an eye on the push for this unwelcome change which is popping up around the country.
All the best,