By: Cherie Nielsen
Virginia Delegate Dickie Bell has been a longtime champion for school choice in Richmond. This year he has sponsored HB 8, which would expand the availability of Virginia education by establishing a K-12 Virtual School.
The Virginia Chapter of PublicSchoolOptions.org held its annual Capitol Day on Wednesday March 2, which provided a unique educational opportunity for virtual school families who attended. We were able to join Delegate Bell to promote his bill before the Senate Finance Committee and we were pleased to see our parents and students speak in favor of the bill. I was so excited that the committee voted 10-4 in favor of the bill.
Delegate Bell took a few minutes out of his busy day to join families to talk about the process and next steps for the legislation. While students usually learn about the legislative process in their textbooks, it’s really something to see it unfold before your eyes.
In addition to the great work families did to promote the bill, we had an opportunity to watch the floor proceeding of the Senate and House. Delegate Bell recognized the families who were in attendance on the House side, and Senator Bryce Reeves recognized the families on the Senate side. I was great to see so many of our families stand up and be recognized on the floor of the House and Senate. It’s special to see the Delegates and Senators applauding the families of the Virginia Virtual Academy.
After a quick lunch, we all stopped on the steps of the Capitol to take a few group photos. Our day concluded with a tour of the Governor’s Mansion, which has been the home for Virginia’s governor since 1813.
It was an exciting day to be on Capitol Square and see so much history, while at the same time working to make history by expanding virtual education opportunities in Virginia for all students.
My husband Eric and I are thankful to live in a state like the Commonwealth of Virginia, which trusts parents over bureaucrats to choose the best school setting for our children.