Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 22.1. Education
Subtitle .
Chapter 3. Superintendent of Public Instruction

Chapter 3. Superintendent of Public Instruction.

§ 22.1-21. Appointment and qualification.

The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall be appointed by the Governor, after consultation with the Board of Education among others, subject to confirmation by the General Assembly, for a term coincident with that of the Governor making the appointment. Any vacancy shall be filled in the same manner. The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall be an experienced educator.

Code 1950, § 22-22; 1977, c. 542; 1980, c. 559.

§ 22.1-22. Oath of office.

Before entering upon the duties of his office, the Superintendent of Public Instruction shall take and subscribe the oath prescribed for an officer of this Commonwealth as provided in Chapter 1 (§ 49-1 et seq.) of Title 49.

Code 1950, § 22-24; 1980, c. 559.

§ 22.1-23. Duties in general.

The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall:

1. Serve as secretary of the Board of Education;

2. Provide such assistance in his office as shall be necessary for the proper and uniform enforcement of the provisions of the school laws in cooperation with the local school authorities;

3. Prepare and furnish such forms for attendance officers, teachers and other school officials as are required by law;

4. (Expires July 1, 2028) At least annually, survey all local school divisions to identify critical shortages of (i) teachers and administrative personnel by geographic area, by school division, or by subject matter; (ii) specialized student support positions as that term is described in subsection O of § 22.1-253.13:2; and (iii) school bus drivers by geographic area and local school division and report such critical shortages to each local school division and to the Virginia Retirement System;

5. Develop and provide to local school divisions a model exit questionnaire for teachers;

6. Along with the State Health Commissioner, work to combat childhood obesity and other chronic health conditions that affect school-age children;

7. Designate an employee of the Department of Education to serve as its liaison to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and the State Board for Community Colleges; and

8. Perform such other duties as the Board of Education may prescribe.

Code 1950, §§ 22-25, 22-26, 22-28; 1980, c. 559; 2001, cc. 689, 700; 2007, cc. 43, 55; 2015, c. 140; 2016, c. 594; 2020, cc. 379, 437; 2023, cc. 690, 707, 708.

§ 22.1-23.1. Model exit questionnaire for teachers.

The Department shall develop and oversee a pilot program to administer across five geographically and demographically diverse school divisions the model exit questionnaire for teachers developed by the Superintendent pursuant to § 22.1-23, analyze the results of each such questionnaire, and include such results and analysis in the Superintendent's annual report. The Department shall (i) administer such questionnaire to each teacher who ceases to be employed by the relevant school board for any reason and (ii) collect, maintain, and report on the results of each such questionnaire in a manner that ensures the confidentiality of each teacher's name and other personally identifying information.

2017, cc. 234, 308; 2022, c. 355.

§ 22.1-23.2. Consolidation of surveys, etc.

The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall identify any survey, questionnaire, inquiry, or other communication that requires a response from a school board or division superintendent as required by this title, Board regulations, the Superintendent, the Department, or other state agencies and shall, in collaboration with any identified requesting entity, work to consolidate, as much as practicable, all such surveys, questionnaires, inquiries, and other communications in order to reduce the administrative burden of such response.

2019, c. 768.

§ 22.1-23.3. Treatment of transgender students; policies.

A. The Department of Education shall develop and make available to each school board model policies concerning the treatment of transgender students in public elementary and secondary schools that address common issues regarding transgender students in accordance with evidence-based best practices and include information, guidance, procedures, and standards relating to:

1. Compliance with applicable nondiscrimination laws;

2. Maintenance of a safe and supportive learning environment free from discrimination and harassment for all students;

3. Prevention of and response to bullying and harassment;

4. Maintenance of student records;

5. Identification of students;

6. Protection of student privacy and the confidentiality of sensitive information;

7. Enforcement of sex-based dress codes; and

8. Student participation in sex-specific school activities and events and use of school facilities. Activities and events do not include athletics.

B. Each school board shall adopt policies that are consistent with but may be more comprehensive than the model policies developed by the Department of Education pursuant to subsection A.

2020, cc. 153, 154.

§ 22.1-24. Administration of "National School Lunch Act.".

The Superintendent of Public Instruction is hereby designated as the "State Educational Agency" for the disbursement of funds received by the Commonwealth of Virginia under the provisions of Public Law 396, 79th Congress, known as the "National School Lunch Act" and any successor act or amendment thereto; and as such is authorized, empowered and directed to exercise the powers and perform the duties conferred and imposed by such act of Congress.

Code 1950, § 22-27; 1980, c. 559.

§ 22.1-24.1. (Effective until July 1, 2024) Internet Safety Advisory Council.

A. The Superintendent shall establish and appoint members to the Internet Safety Advisory Council (the Council) for the purpose of advancing the goal of safe use of media and technology by students and teachers in public elementary and secondary schools in the Commonwealth.

B. The membership of the Council shall include at least one (i) teacher; (ii) librarian; (iii) representative of a parent-teacher organization who is a parent of a school-age child; (iv) school administrator; (v) student; and (vi) individual with expertise in Internet safety and such other individuals as the Superintendent deems appropriate, provided that the membership of the Council shall not exceed 12. The Council may collaborate with law-enforcement agencies, criminal justice agencies, and other nongovernmental organizations with expertise in child online safety issues and human trafficking prevention.

C. The Council shall:

1. Develop and recommend to the Board for adoption, after study and consideration of a variety of sources and perspectives, a model policy for local school boards in the Commonwealth that would enable such school boards to better support the Internet safety of all students and teachers in the local school division;

2. Develop and recommend to the Board for adoption model instructional practices for and instructional content on the safe use of media and technology by students and teachers in public elementary and secondary schools in the Commonwealth, including instruction on (i) safe and responsible use of social networking websites, including Internet chat rooms, email, instant messaging, and other modes of electronic communication; (ii) the risks of transmitting personal information on the Internet and the importance of privacy protection; (iii) copyright laws on written materials, photographs, music, and videos posted or shared online; (iv) the importance of establishing open communication with responsible adults about any online communications or activities; and (v) how to recognize, avoid, and report suspicious, potentially dangerous, or illegal online communications or activities, including (a) potential solicitation by sexual predators, (b) unsolicited or deceptive communications, and (c) harassment and cyberbullying; and

3. Design and post on the Department's website a page with links to successful instructional practices, curricula, and other teacher resources used in school divisions within and outside of the Commonwealth for the safe use of media and technology by students and teachers, including resources and assistance programs available for any child or parent who may have encountered online solicitation by sexual predators or other illegal online communications or activities, including the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's CyberTipline.

2022, c. 776; 2023, c. 111.