The Virginia Senate—just barely—rejected a bill that would have given the Virginia Board of Education the final say on the establishment of local charter schools.
House Bill 3 aimed to amend the state constitution to divest local school boards of their sole authority to establish charter schools in their jurisdictions and transfer that authority to the state board.
The bill passed in the House of Delegates on a 50-48 vote Monday. In the Senate, Lt. Gov. Ralph S. Northam broke a 20-20 tie to defeat the legislation. Had the bill been successful, it would have been placed on the ballot this November.
The Loudoun County School Board issued a resolution last week opposing the bill. The fear was that the state education board could approve a charter school to open in a locality, even if the locality could not afford it or residents didn’t want it.
“It takes away our ability to reject a charter school application and gives the Board of Education the right to just put one in our county,” Vice Chairwoman Brenda Sheridan (Sterling) said last week.