Statement from Delegate Bell regarding Governor McAuliffe's Virtual Education Legislative Proposal


Staunton, VA – Delegate Richard P. “Dickie” Bell issued the following statement regarding Governor McAuliffe’s virtual education legislative proposal.

“Today, Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that he will be putting forth legislation that will “expand access to virtual education by requiring each school division to provide a free, full-time virtual learning option to students in grades K-12.” 

“I have met and discussed full-time virtual education with Governor McAuliffe on multiple occasions, and I am thrilled to see him embrace this as a viable option. His actions, however, prove to be yet another inconsistency in his history of inconsistencies on this issue.  Just last year he vetoed my legislation that established a full-time virtual program in Virginia, after signing a substantially similar bill with a re-enactment one year before.

"While I appreciate the Governor’s renewed interest in virtual learning, I believe that this legislation takes the wrong approach. By keeping virtual education in local school divisions we would create artificial barriers and limit rather than increase a parent’s choice.  One of the beauties of virtual education is it strips away boundaries. By limiting a child to a virtual program in their local school division, we allow for inequities that wouldn’t exist in a statewide virtual program.

"This year I have re-introduced last year’s legislation, which is now HB 1400.  I look forward to continuing this discussion in the 2017 General Assembly Session.”

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