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Focus on Fairfax
Feb. 10, 2016
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It is not too late to RSVP for my upcoming Constituent Day.  Come down to Richmond on Monday, February 15th and see our democracy in action!  We will gather between 9:30 and 10:00 a.m. and then start a tour of the General Assembly Building and the State Capitol.  We will wrap up after lunch with a visit to the Governor's Mansion.  Send me an email at [email protected] for more information.
I-66 Update
Last night I received a call from the Governor's office to let me know that they had agreed to widen I-66 inside the Beltway from the Dulles Connector to Ballston as part of any tolling plan.  Click here for the press release.  This is great news.  Many constituents continued to express concern about plans for I-66 inside the Beltway at last weekend's Town Hall meeting.  As I have noted previously, I put in several bills concerning I-66, one of which was introduced as a potential compromise (HB1374).  The Governor's plan is very similar to this bill.  While this is a compromise, and doesn't include everything I would like to see, widening this stretch of I-66 is critical to our regional transportation system.  The fact that we will be able to start this process now - rather than sometime in the indeterminate future - is a positive step for commuters.
High School Graduation Redesign
One of the most important bills I've had the opportunity to work on this session is HB895, which will redesign our high school graduation requirements to better prepare students for a 21st century economy.  Central to that discussion is whether to replace high-stakes standardized tests with measures designed to better assess a student's actual understanding of concepts and how they are applied in the real world.  This is no easy feat, which is why the General Assembly established a Standards of Learning Reform Committee two years ago so that we could consider reforms in a deliberative and comprehensive manner. 
HB895 was introduced to implement the committee's primary recommendations.  First, the bill tasks the Board of Education with developing a "Profile of a Virginia Graduate."  The idea is to paint a picture of a successful graduate and then redesign the high school experience to achieve the profile.  The profile includes traits such as critical and creative thinking, collaboration, communication, and citizenship.  Second, the bill eliminates reference to verified credits (that is, SOL tests) from the Code and gives the Board the flexibility to comprehensively redesign the assessment process.  Finally, the bill eliminates the current "standard" versus "advanced" diplomas.  These will be replaced with an academic program that focuses on core competencies in grades 9-10 and then establishes individual pathways toward college and/or career readiness in grades 11-12, including internships, externships, and credentialing.
I was pleased to work on HB895 as a member of the Education Innovation subcommittee.  The bill has passed both subcommittee and full committee, where I voted yes, and is headed to the full House for debate.  As both your delegate and the father of three public school children, I would gladly welcome your thoughts and comments as we continue to work on this important piece of legislation.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve.  I hope that you will be able to join me for Constituent Day on February 15th.

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David Bulova
Delegate, 37th Virginia House District
2010 David Bulova
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Delegate David Bulova
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