Del. David Poisson (D-32) is preparing for his first session in Richmond. The Virginia General Assembly will begin its 2006 session Jan. 11.
Transportation will be the most important issue discussed during the session, said Poisson. He said he will work closely with the other Northern Virginia delegates to ensure the region gets its fair share of transportation dollars from the state.
Poisson said he plans to introduce seven bills during the session. Four of the bills are education related.
One bill will encourage teachers to keep their jobs as such, instead of looking for positions in the administration. Currently, said Poisson, many localities have rules stating teachers cannot be paid at the same level, or more than, the administrators. This forces teachers looking for career advancement to quit their posts as teachers and move into administration jobs. Included in the legislation would be a deregulation of licensing for administrators. There is a requirement placed on schools to choose their principal from people who went through an administration program. Poisson would like to change that.
"Maybe the best candidate for a principal is the teacher who motivates other teachers to do their best work," said Poisson.
Another piece of legislation Poisson plans to introduce is that teachers be licensed to teach in subject matters they have a degree in. A math teacher would therefore have to have a degree in math to be licensed, not a degree from a teacher-education program. After receiving a degree, the new teacher would also spend a year teaching under the supervision of an experienced teacher.
"We have to put more authority into the hands of teachers," said Poisson. He said his constituents have put a lot of tax dollars into education and he will fight for those bills most vigorously.
Poisson also plans to introduce legislation requiring the state of Virginia to replace its vehicle fleet to alternative fuels or hybrid vehicles. The procurement would take place over four years. Another bill would afford a tax credit to Virginians who use EZ Pass or Smart Tag to pay for their tolls.
His final piece of key legislation is a sex offender registration alert bill. The bill would allow for residents of a neighborhood to be alerted via e-mail if a past sex offender moves into their neighborhood. As it stands now, the residents must request such records, instead of being alerted when a past offender moves in.
Constituents may reach Poisson during the session at 703-421-6890 to voice their opinions of the issues discussed in the House of Delegates.