Delegates used the morning session of day two of the 2016 convention to call for a full-time, licensed nurse in every school building, create implementation teams both at the state and local level for the new Every Student Succeeds Act, and propose that failing test scores for students with excessive absences not be reflected on a teacher or school.
VEA members also presented “Legislative Champion” Awards to eight members of the General Assembly in gratitude for their support for public education during the 2016 session. The recipients were Senators Barbara Favola, Ben Chafin, Jill Vogel (above), and Tommy Norment and Delegates Jim LeMunyon, Tim Hugo, John Bell, and Terry Kilgore. In addition, Sen. Chafin was named VEA’s Legislator of the Year.
Outgoing VEA President Meg Gruber also gave her final convention report, reminding delegates that almost no improvement in public education ever comes easy, and, in the words of Garth Brooks, we must “do what you gotta do.”
She also reviewed some highlights of her four-year presidency, noting the success of the Put Kids First rally last year, the growth in organizing training opportunities available to members, the additional investment in K-12 schools made by this year’s General Assembly, the coming implementation of a statewide health insurance plan for school employees, and the successful work done on behalf of numerous education-friendly candidates for public offices.