February 3, 2016  
HEAV is actively engaged in the legislative process at the General Assembly. Your quick response to our alert to call and e-mail the Health, Welfare, and Institutions subcommittee regarding immunization bill, HB 1342, has resulted in the patron asking the committee to strike the bill. It is dead and cannot be brought up again this session. Because of your involvement, you--not a committee--can still make decisions about your child's immunizations!
This is only one example of the importance of watching out for homeschool freedoms at the General Assembly. Our expanded legislative team has a depth of experience that helps us focus on the most important issues as quickly as they come up. 
Ann Hoopsick 
HEAV's lobbyist, Ann Hoopsick, visited the newly elected legislators as soon as the session began, and quickly made herself known to senators and delegates proposing legislation that could affect homeschoolers. Ann is an experienced homeschool parent who is alert to homeschool issues. After she and her husband Dave graduated their two sons, they began working on political campaigns, as well as monitoring and participating in local city government in Colonial Heights.
Caroline Barnes 
Veteran homeschool mom, retired Navy Nurse Corps Commander, and political activist, Caroline Barnes, continues to faithfully serve as HEAV's bill researcher. Her sharp eye and humorous comments get us through the monotony of reading thousands of bills.
Anne Miller 
HEAV president and interim executive director, Anne Miller, assists in reviewing and analyzing proposed legislation. Her valuable experience contributes to good legislative decisions.
Kevin and Katrina Hoeft 
Joining Anne in legislative analysis are Kevin and Katrina Hoeft from Goochland. They are homeschooling parents of 10-year-old twins, and they bring their valuable public policy experience to the legislative team. 
The legislative team works together, discussing strategy and tracking the progress of bills. Please pray for discernment and direction as we work to protect and advance homeschool freedoms in Virginia.


Yvonne Bunn
Director of Homeschool Support and Government Affairs 
Sports Access HB131 (Bell, R-Albemarle) and SB 612  (Garrett, R- Buckingham )
These two companion bills state that no public school can be a member of an organization that does not allow qualified homeschoolers to participate in sports and other interscholastic activities, e.g., the Virginia High School League. A local option is included: school boards will have the option to include or not include homeschoolers. The provision expires July 1, 2021. After a similar House bill successfully passed both the House and the Senate in 2015, it was vetoed by the governor. If you support homeschool access to interscholastic activities, make your opinion known by contacting Governor McAuliffe's office at this link. HB 131: PASSED THE FULL HOUSE (58-Y, 41-N), THEN WAS REFERRED TO THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND HEALTH. SB 612: PASSED THE FULL SENATE (22-Y, 17-N).
Parental Choice Education Savings Accounts HB 389 (LaRock, R-Loudoun)
This detailed bill allows qualified public school students to move state funds into a savings account. The funds will be restricted for payment to a private school, sectarian or nonsectarian school, or preschool. PASSED THE HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE (13-Y, 9-N). REFERRED TO THE APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE - ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION. 
Certification of Online Driver Education Courses HB 748 - (Greason, R-Loudoun)
This bill changes the Virginia Code to allow online driver education courses to be provided only by driver training schools that administer behind-the-wheel exams. HEAV has requested additional language to protect parent-taught classroom instruction and parent-taught behind-the-wheel training. Language was included in subcommittee without discussion. HOUSE TRANSPORTATION SUBCOMMITTEE RECOMMENDED REPORTING (7-Y, 0-N) TO THE FULL TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE WITH AMENDMENTS.
Removal of Exemptions for Immunizations HB 1342 (Stolle, R-VA Beach, Filler-Corn, D-Springfield)
This proposed bill removes language that has historically given parents and guardians the opportunity to make decisions concerning immunizations. It removes a parent's right to claim a religious exemption, as well as the right to present a medical professional's statement. Phone calls and e-mails got the attention of the patron and committee members. THE PATRON REQUESTED THE HEALTH, WELFARE, AND INSTITUTIONS COMMITTEE TO STRIKE THE BILL. IT CANNOT BE BROUGHT UP AGAIN THIS YEAR.

Teacher Tax Credits
SB 151 (Reeves, R- Fredericksburg)
As proposed, teachers, instructors, counselors, principals, or aides would receive a state tax credit equal to $500 for materials used in teaching. HEAV requested removal of the reference to "900 hours" and asked that teacher tax credits apply to all teachers, including homeschooling parents. The bill's sponsor would not consider either change, stating there is no funding for the bill as it is. REFERRED TO THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE.

Dual Enrollment Tuition  HB 30 ( Bell, R-Albemarle)
This budget amendment requires
the Department of Education, in collaboration with the Virginia Community College System, to ensure that the policy for dual enrollment tuition payments shall be the same for public school students and homeschooled students. Delegate Rob Bell clarified that " the amendment would ensure that whatever policy is in place for dual-enrolled students with regard to taking classes at a local community college would also be available to homeschoolers." To support this amendment contact the committee members here. 
Will You Help Support the Legislative Work of HEAV?
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promote and protect homeschooling freedoms in Virginia for more than 33 years.  
Home Educators Association of Virginia
HEAV is a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization, and your contribution is tax-deductible to the extent provided by law. Upon written request, a financial statement is available from the Office of Consumer Affairs.