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Va. Legislators Scrap Charter, Sex-Ed. Bills

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Virginia lawmakers last week rejected the cornerstones of Gov. George F. Allen's education agenda, scrapping plans to abolish the state's sex-education requirement and to promote charter schools.

Saying his ideas "lacked the support of the people," members of the Senate and House education committees killed the Republican Governor's sex-education bill, which would have made the family-life-education requirement optional.

Under Governor Allen's plan, school districts could have taught sex education, but parents would have had to enroll their children in the courses. Currently, students automatically take the classes unless their parents choose to have them opt out.

Also last week, the House panel voted down the Governor's charter-school initiative, which would have allowed local public schools to contract with colleges, teachers, and businesses to run charter schools. Democrats narrowly control both chambers of the legislature.

Pay for Performance

The Colorado House has approved a bill that would mandate performance-based-pay plans for teachers.

The House approved a measure late last month that gives the state's 176 school districts until next year to come up with performance-based plans to replace traditional salary schedules, which are based on levels of seniority and education. The bill leaves the details of the performance plans up to districts.

The Colorado Education Association opposes the bill, but the Colorado Association of School Boards favors it. The measure is pending in a Senate committee.

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