RICHMOND – Two bills to change school procedures on building security and student physical activity were effectively sent to detention by the Senate Finance Committee this morning
Legislation calling for local school boards to work with local law enforcement agencies so school resource officers are assigned in public schools across Virginia was sent to a state school safety task force for evaluation.
And a measure that would require elementary and middle school students to have 30 minutes of physical activity each day was likewise kicked out of class and sent to the General Assembly’s oversight agency for analysis.
The school resources officer bills – one from Sen. Richard Stuart, R-Stafford County; the other from Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath County – were combined and sent to Virginia’s recently established school safety task force.
That group was impaneled by Gov. Bob McDonnell in response to last month’s deadly school shooting in Newtown, Conn. that claimed the lives of 20 children and 6 adults.
According to a 2011 state report, 513 of the 1,980 public schools as defined by the Virginia Center for School Safety had resources officers assigned to them.
Nearly all those positions are locally funded.
The physical activity legislation “is a small step in the right direction” that wouldn’t impose significant financial burden on school divisions while helping combat childhood obesity, said bill sponsor Sen. John Miller, D-Newport News.
His proposal was sent to the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission for a study of its fiscal impact.
- Julian Walker, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot