The debate over transportation funding has overshadowed other proposals during the final days of the General Assembly session.
But other issues, including education reform, are coming into focus.
Thursday in the State Senate, a forceful debate over legislation that would allow the state to take over failing schools took place.
This was one of Governor McDonnell's top education priorities.
The bill considered Thursday in the State Senate was introduced by Salem Delegate Greg Habeeb.
It's an issue that stirs strong emotions on both sides of the debate.
“Our kids aren't failing these schools. These schools are failing our kids,” Senator Thomas Garrett (R) of the 22nd District Louisa County said.
Supporters of the education reform say a state-run district could turn around schools that fail their students year after year.
“This is our chance. We have missed our opportunity for 10 years, we have been over and over doing nothing as 3,000 children per year go through these failing school systems and do not receive the education that they deserve,” Senator Bill Stanley (R) of the 20th District Franklin County said.
Opponents argued that the state has failed local schools by not providing adequate funding.
“If we need to solve the problem of failing schools I'm sure there are ways to go about doing that, but to take a school system in Virginia which is fourth in the nation and apply principles that have failed in other states makes no sense at all,” Senator John Edwards (D) of the 21st District Roanoke said.
The bill went down in the Senate by a two vote margin, but Salem Delegate Greg Habeeb (R) said he wasn't concerned.
“Frankly I didn’t even pay that close attention to it. As far as I'm concerned the bill has already passed. It’s passed both houses. I was proud to support the senate version in the House yesterday and it’s on the way to the Governor's desk. I expect it to become law soon,” Habeeb said.
Despite Thursday's vote in the State Senate, similar legislation is headed to the Governor.
But funding is still an issue.
We're waiting to see if the budget negotiations that are still underway will include money for the state-run school district, that would take effect after the 2013- 2014 school year.