Senate Passes McClellan Bill to Provide Transparency on School COVID Procedures

Bill Will Require Schools to Publicly Post Their Safety Plans; Moves to the Governor for Signature

Today, the Virginia General Assembly passed Sen. Jennifer McClellan’s (D-Richmond) bill to ensure that parents, educators and students have full transparency about health and safety measures being taken by their schools during the Coronavirus emergency. 

McClellan’s SB 5083 will require all Virginia school boards to publicly post online their plans for mitigating the spread and public health risk of Coronavirus. Virginia school boards are currently required to create school health and safety plans;McClellan’s bill requires the plans to be posted on the school division’s website.

The bill now moves to the governor’s desk for signature. Sen. Ghazala Hashmi (D-Chesterfield) was the chief co-patron in the Senate.

“Parents, educators, and students deserve the right to know what their schools are doing to protect against the spread of Coronavirus,” said Sen. McClellan. “This new law creates a uniform standard for transparency to inform Virginians about their schools’ policies. While schools are making local decisions on reopening policies, we must take statewide action to ensure that their communities are fully informed. I encourage the governor to sign this critical bill about safety and transparency.”

“In these times, we need as much transparency as possible, because difficult decisions are being made across Virginia on how instruction should be happening and how we’re ensuring that it’s done safely,” said Virginia Education Association President James J. Fedderman. “We’re grateful to Senator McClellan for standing up for the health and safety of students, their families and communities, and local educators. Because of her leadership, and the commitment of fellow legislators, Virginians will be better informed and safer.”

Over these past few months, our education leaders, parents, and students faced incredible challenges as they worked to decide the safest options for their schools and families,” said Sen. Hashmi. “This legislation helps to make information more readily available and transparent so that families can make the best decisions for their students.”