Driver education programs; joint subcommittee to study feasibility of privatizing in public schools. (HJ712)

Introduced By

Del. Tim Hugo (R-Centreville)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate


Study; privatization of driver education programs in the public schools; report. Establishes a joint subcommittee to study the desirability and feasibility of privatizing driver education programs in the public schools. In conducting its study, the joint subcommittee shall (i) examine the benefits and costs of privatizing driver education programs in Virginia; (ii) review the history and legal authority for driver education programs and the interaction of public policies governing public education and motor vehicles; (iii) consider the transition process necessary to move from state-operated to private-operated driver education programs, including, but not limited to, the transfer of teachers and students, and the disposition of facilities and educational materials; (iv) assess the need for statutory, regulatory, fiscal, and policy changes regarding driver education programs and instruction; (v) determine the appropriateness of establishing a regulatory board to govern private driver training schools; and (vi) consider such other related matters as the joint subcommittee may deem appropriate. The joint subcommittee shall submit its executive summary and report to the 2008 Session of the General Assembly. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/10/2007Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/07 078265332
01/10/2007Referred to Committee on Rules


Mark K. Steinberg writes:

This bill appears to be a very bad idea and is based on the questionable assumption that the private sector is better able to serve the needs of students than the public sector.

I would like to know who is the driving force behind this bill and how much this member received in campaign contributions from the private groups offering this service or how much stake the sponsor has in the companies providing this service.

This is a bad idea and could place our children in harms way and certainly will not contribute to better prepared drivers. When it comes to education policy, does not the legislature have any more important issues to deal with? I think so - so deal with them and leave enriching the private sector to another time.

Thank you,

Mark K. Steinberg
916 Rolfe Place
Alexandria VA 22314

Rich Bennett writes:

Drivers ed should continue to be taught in the public schools. It is a worthwhile course for our young soon-to-be drivers.

Heather Petrie writes:

As a Dr. Ed. teacher for FCPS. I think people need to talk to the students about how bad their private Behind the Wheel instruction has been. The kids call it a jok. Most kids go eat at fast food, pick up dry cleaning, etc. instead of doing their driving. They do not get the required 14 hours. Most importantly, the instructors do not instruct. They hand out licenses like candy. I had one mother tell me she was shocked when her older daughter recieved her license. Many students talk about the lack of instuction given. Please do some investigating on these private companies. Are they following the guidelines? Thanks for your tim.

Marty Joyner (HS Teacher) writes:

As a HS teacher myself, the horror stories of the private instruction programs are horrible. Over and over again I hear that kids simply have to drive from their house to the next student's house. When they fill the car, sometimes with 4-5 people, they then return to their house to be dropped off. Many students have said that they get their provisionals signed-off after only 2-3 days of training and are never asked to drive again. The kids LOVE this but since when have we trusted kids to know what is best for them.

Here in Fairfax County, our students go through 4 hours of Driving Range training before they ever see the road in specialized cars. The allows us, as instructors, to verify theri abilities and teach simple things like parking that you would never want to teach in a live setting.

This bill was also introduced because of a political campaign contribution to Delegate Hugo's fund by a local, Northern VA PRIVATE driving instruction company.

Good to see Mr. Hugo has our kids best interests at heart....

BTW, I'd love to see a private instructor get on here and argue these points. I have a neighbor who does it and I see it EVERYDAY!!!!!

Karen Marston writes:

I have a son who used a private company and I was disappointed in the teaching he received. I have a 2nd son who will be enrolled in the FCPS Driving program. Please do not take funding away from this valuable program through FCPS.

Thomas Larson writes:

There seems to be an unwarranted assumption involved: that the private sector can do things better for less money. However, experience has shown over and over again that once the profit motive is introduced, the incentive to start cutting corners to maximize profits begins. The result is a decline in program quality and effectiveness. Keep driver’s ed in the schools where the focus is on teaching students to drive, not on making money.

Jen Rutherford writes:

In an area where bad driving is the norm, I would not want to be on the road when poor quality driving instruction is mixed with inexperience. Northern Virginia is not a place where children can be expected to operate a piece of potentially fatal machinery on subpar driving instruction. Not only should public driver education instructors be outraged by this, but parents and seemingly uninvolved drivers who will simply share the roads with privately educated students should be outraged as well.