Public Comments for 02/13/2023 Education
SB821 - Arrests, certain, and convictions of certain individuals; reports to division safety officials.
SB964 - Child day programs, certain; exempt from licensure by the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
SB1019 - Virginia-based nonprofit organizations; schools for adults to earn credentials, college credit, etc.
SB1020 - Virginia Museum of Transportation; established, report.
SB1045 - School boards; school building maintenance capital target.
SB1072 - Public schools; codes of student conduct, policies and procedures prohibiting bullying.
SB1077 - Richard Bland College; removes authority of board of visitors of The College of William & Mary, etc.
SB1099 - School Resource Officer Grants Program and Fund; awarding grants.
SB1109 - College and Career Readiness for English Language Learners Grant Program and Fund; established.
SB1118 - Teachers; employment, English as a Second Language Incentive Reward Program and Fund established.
SB1175 - Student literacy measures; scope, students in grades four through eight.
SB1300 - Trauma Learning Modules; DOE & VTSS-RIC to make modifications.
Good morning Chairman and members of the committee. My name is Elijah Lee and for the past 6 years, I have dedicated my life to the advancement and empowerment of young people. While my work consists of encouraging young people to become civically engaged, a majority of what I do surrounds the protection and safety of young people. From leading child abuse awareness marches to raising over $15,000 for trauma-informed care spaces in hospitals, ensuring that we are using best practices when dealing with childhood trauma has become the center of what I do. This is why I ask that you all will vote to support the passing of SB 1300. I have been honored to work with Senator Deeds on the drafting of this legislation, and while I used knowledge from the work that I have done in the past, the primary inspiration has been teachers and students. When talking to educators and peers about this legislation, all of them said the same thing, this legislation could save lives. It is no secret that our young people are experiencing traumatic events at record rates, and while we continue to address this problem, we must also ensure that our educators have the resources necessary to handle these problems in the classroom. This legislation will allow our educators to recognize when a young person is experiencing a traumatic event such as child abuse, and further ensure that the child receives the help they need. While this legislation will not make educators experts in the field of trauma-informed care or specialists in dealing with trauma, it will, however, better equip them with the knowledge they need to be successful and to keep our children safe. Too often young people fall through the cracks, not because their teachers didn’t care, but because they didn't know. I believe we owe not only to the educators of Virginia, but also to every young person in Virginia to do all we can to protect the future of our commonwealth, and it is without question that this training is the next step. When working to draft legislation, I wanted it to benefit not burden those who were affected, which is why we made the avenues of accessing the training outlined in the legislation accessible and easy to use. I will admit, I wish to one day live in a world where this legislation is unnecessary. I wish to live in a world where young people are not facing several types of abuse and neglect, a world without constant violence against our children. However, this is the world we live in, and as young people face these traumatic events, we cannot leave them, but instead, it is our job to stand by them and to provide the community with what they need to help our children. This legislation is what we need. This legislation is how we move forward as a Commonwealth in the protection of young people. I want to thank the committee for their time and consideration, and I hope you will all vote to support SB 1300.
support sb1300 support trauma informed care and training
I support SB 1300 because I’ve seen the added trauma students experience when teachers, staff or administrators don’t recognize the difference between intentional misbehavior and autonomic flight/fight behaviors, and when the adults don’t realize that access to the part of the brain responsible for thinking, planning, reasoning, and impulse control is off-line when the brain detects danger or life-threat. A consistent understanding of the impact of trauma and effective ways to support students impacted by trauma will shift the school culture and learning environment in a positive direction.
Sb 1215 yes Sb 1260 yes Sb1300 yes Sb1325 yes Sb1448 yes
SB1329 - Virginia Parent Data Portal; Board of Education to create and maintain, report.
SB1373 - Higher educational institutions; human trafficking awareness and prevention training required.
SB1386 - Higher educational institutions, public; tuition & financial aid, dependency override application.
As someone who grew up in an abusive household, it is incredibly imperative that this bill is passed. My parents are middle class, but I am paying for college completely on my own. However, due to the FAFSA being based on my parents’ income, I was unable to receive enough aid to leave and was forced to stay in my abusive home and go to community college because it is all I can afford. A bill like this would be life changing and life saving for people like me. Support this bill!
In a society where a college education is often the deciding factor between a livable salary and a minimum wage job, it is vital that everyone has a choice to go to college. The choice to continue education should not be something only the wealthy or privileged get, higher education should be accessible to anyone who wishes to pursue it. This bill will open those doors for numerous high school students who thought they would never be able to attend. College can be extremely important in specific careers and higher education allows people to achieve their goals and live their dreams. If the delegates of Virginia truly care about every one of their constituents, then they will vote in favor of this bill. It is as simple as that.
I fully support this bill and believe it must pass.
Publicizing the dependency override process increases access to education for the most vulnerable of young people; those experiencing estrangement and those who are not able to reach their parents. The dependency override process is integral to the success of many students seeking education, but despite that, most students do not even know it exists.
I am in support of SB1386. It is common knowledge that college costs more than many families can afford. According to US News, the average tuition and fees at a private college is $39,723, while a public, in-state college costs $10,423 on average. For comparison, the median household income was $67,521 in 2020 according to census.gov. College can cost over half of a household’s yearly income. However, some prospective college students may not receive any financial support from their own parents or guardians when applying to college due to a variety of different factors ranging from estrangement to abuse to incarceration. How are these students supposed to afford college? Students do not have the time necessary for a full-time job nor the experience needed for a well-paying one. The poverty rate for people under the age of 18 was 16.1% in 2020 according to census.gov. And for children in abusive or estranged households, money is even tighter. It is important that students in these circumstances also have the ability to afford college. Education is important for financial success, and for disadvantaged students, education can be the path towards a better future. According to indeed.com, employees with only a high school diploma earn an average of $712 per week, while employees with a bachelor’s degree earn $1,173 per week. Employees with only an associate’s degree earn $836 per week. But students’ own families can be obstacles towards their future success. Students should not be denied the right to an education based on factors that they cannot control. If their parents are unwilling to pay for their college, students shouldn’t have to give up on pursuing further education. This bill will make college education more accessible. For students with supportive families, nothing will change. However, for students in these circumstances, SB1386 will give them opportunities that were previously unavailable.
I am in full support of SB 1386. As a graduating high school senior, I’ve experienced first-hand just how stressful the college process is, and that’s with a supportive family. The financial aid process can be even more daunting as a search through college websites for hours trying to find the information I seek. Accessible education is the cornerstone to creating an informed and successful future for America. This bill will ensure that those who are estranged from there families know that they can still afford college. It’s vital to know that this bill helps everyone. Everyone who doesn’t have familial supper for any reason. In my case, I have dozens of friends who haven’t come out as gay to their parents. If they do, they face the risk of estrangement and risk to their safety. I want to ensure that if they ever did come out and the worst happened in regard to their family situation, they would still have the right to education. Speaking as a student for student, support accessible education. Pass SB 1386.
Strongly support this bill: money is a huge factor when applying/selecting colleges, and financial aid is important for those who can't afford an education. Information for how to find financial aid should be as public as possible so that those who need it can find it easily.
Hello Committee I am a student from Montgomery County, and I support this bill. Thanks for reading
I strongly support SB1386. This bill will help many students in difficult situations who are unaware of the aid available to them. Please support SB1386.
I support the SB 1386 bill due to the fact that my older brother is currently applying for college, and although this may be a story you’ve all heard of before, the access to this information would’ve helped us tremendously. Increased access to the dependency override will definitely help make our lives easier and quicken the financial aid and college applications I will be filling out next year.
I fully support this bill. Colleges should be transparent about processes that can help students in difficult or abusive situations. This will help students escape dangerous situations and show that colleges will support them.
We strongly support SB 1386. SB 1386, which passed the Senate unanimously, requires institutions of higher education to provide information on the dependency override process, which essentially ensures that abused, estranged, and students of incarcerated parents can still access the financial aid process. It does not expand the dependency override process itself, as outlined by lines 51 to 52: it merely requires schools to disclose its existence and other details about the process. This bill is needed because a majority of institutions of higher education don't currently include information on the dependency override process, and when they do, it is often incomplete. Consequently, students who may qualify for the dependency override process are often unaware of the process. Simply put, this is a common-sense disclosure bill. For your connivence, I've attached a document that outlines what this bill does, along with a chart that explains what institutions in Virginia currently disclose.
SB818 - Public elementary and secondary schools; programs of instruction on mental health education.
I support Sen. Spruill's bill as I believe this will best support students' way to a better education.
It has been reported nationally and locally that the behavioral health of our children in schools has degraded precipitously. Fear and isolation are just two of the factors amplifying anxiety in younger and younger children. Some children act out while others turn inward to self-harm. Age appropriate mental health education can provide important tools for our children to explore healthy outlets for their feelings and identify when they need to ask for help. Please report SB 818 and forward it to the House for a vote. Thank you.