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Culturally Responsive & Inclusive Education Practices Legislation

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Cultural Competency Bill

The Culturally Competent Virginia Educators Bill (SB 1196  carried by Senator Mamie Locke, and HB 1904 carried by Delegate Clinton Jenkins) includes the following provisions:

  • -Every person seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license shall complete instruction or training in cultural competency. 
  • -Every person seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license with an endorsement in history/social science shall complete instruction in African American history, as prescribed by the Virginia Board of Education
  • -Each school board shall adopt and implement policies that require each teacher and other school board employee holding a license issued by the Board of Education to complete a cultural competency training, in accordance with guidance issued by the Board of Education, at least every two years.
  • -The Board of Education shall issue minimum guidance for cultural competency training by December 31, 2021. The required training must be completed at least once by each teacher and license holder by the beginning of the 2022-2023 academic year
  • -Teacher Evaluations shall include cultural proficiency efficacy.

Culturally Relevant and Inclusive Education Practices Advisory Committee

During the 2020 legislative session, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation (HB916) which charged the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to establish and appoint, in consultation with the Governor’s Office, members to a Culturally Relevant and Inclusive Education Practices Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee is to provide:

  1. Standards recommendations to the Department of Education that shall be considered by the Board of Education during the 2021-2022 review of the History and Social Science Standards of Learning. 

  1. Recommendations for the issuance of Board of Education guidelines for local school division staff, including teachers and school counselors, to offer age-appropriate anti-bias education to students. This includes:
  • -Recognition that anti-bias and anti-discrimination education is the work and responsibility of all staff within the local school division;
  • -An emphasis on diversity and building a community of empathy, respect, understanding, and connection;
  • -Examination of how lower levels of hate, ridicule, and dehumanization lead to larger acts of violence, discrimination and violence;
  • -Acknowledgment of inequity on the individual level, such as biased speech and harassment, and injustice at the institutional or systemic level, such as discrimination, and the harmful impact of inequity and injustice on the community, historically and today;
  • -School-based and classroom-based responses, which are student centered and proven effective, to various forms of racism, bigotry, and discrimination through empathy, respect, understanding, and connection; and
  • -Updates to the Department of Education’s teacher’s manual, as required by action taken by the 2009 Session of the General Assembly, that emphasizes the causes and ramifications of the Holocaust and genocide.

3. Recommendations on meaningful professional development with school personnel related to culturally relevant and inclusive education practices. This shall include but not be limited to considerations for:

  • -The policies and regulations governing teacher preparation programs; and
  • -The policies and regulations governing teacher licensure and professional development requirements for licensure renewal.

The bill requires the Committee to report its recommendations to the Board of Education, the Governor, and the Chairs of the House Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Education and Health no later than July 1, 2021. 

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