Delegate Richard P. “Dickie” Bell (R-Staunton) announced today that House Bill 1435, a bill patroned by Delegate Bell, has passed in the House of Delegates.
House Bill 1435 provides that local school boards that choose to offer American Sign Language must grant credit for successful completion as a foreign language course. Additionally, public colleges and universities must allow American Sign Language to satisfy foreign language entrance requirements.
“I am very pleased to see House Bill 1435 decisively pass in the House of Delegates.” said Delegate Bell. “This legislation not only enhances public education, but it also eliminates discrimination in foreign language education and creates a host of educational opportunities for both the deaf and hearing communities.”
The bill was first referred to the Higher Education subcommittee, where it was reported out with a vote of 6-1. It then passed in the full Education Committee with a vote of 21-1. Today it passed on the floor of the House with a vote of 95-3.
Elected to the House of Delegates in 2009, Delegate Bell represents the 20th District, which includes Highland County, portions of Augusta and Rockingham Counties, and the City of Staunton.