Va. Legislative Panels Back Teacher Evaluation Bill

RICHMOND, Va. — A major component of Gov. Bob McDonnell’s education reform package has easily cleared two legislative hurdles.

The House of Delegates voted 84-14 Thursday to pass a bill overhauling evaluation and grievance procedures for teachers and school administrators. The Senate Courts of Justice Committee unanimously endorsed similar legislation.

The bills allow local school boards to expand teacher probationary periods from three years to five. They require annual evaluations, and say teachers and principals can be fired after one bad appraisal. The bills also streamline the grievance process.

The legislation is a watered-down version of an unsuccessful measure McDonnell pushed last year. The Virginia Education Association opposed last year’s bill because it would have ended teacher tenure. The VEA supports this year’s bill, which leaves tenure intact.

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