Loudoun School Board Weighs Legislative Priorities

The Loudoun County School Board is fine-tuning its list of state laws members want to see changed.

The board is scheduled to adopt its 2018 Legislative Program on Tuesday, Nov. 14, and it is considering a few additions and deletions.

At the top of its wish list is a repeated request for state lawmakers to provide funding to cover the cost of following all state mandates. “When the Commonwealth considers a program important enough to mandate, it should consider the mandate important enough to fund,” the proposed Legislative Program states.

The Legislative and Policy Committee is recommending that the board delete a request from last year that asked lawmakers to support legislation that would allow school districts to charge for bus transportation to and from optional education programs and activities. Currently, state law does not require public schools to provide transportation to programs like C.S. Monroe Technology Center or after-school activities, but it cannot charge families if they do provide the service.

Committee members also want to see a state law that permits relatives of School Board members to be hired by the school system.

“With the shortage of teachers and other skilled staff plaguing divisions, large and small, school divisions, including larger divisions such as Loudoun County, should be able to hire relatives of school board members,” the legislative program states. They are suggesting that the change in law also require that the board members certify that they had no involvement in the hiring decision, and the superintendent certifies that the hiring decision was based on merit.

The School Board’s Legislative Program serves as a formal request to the delegates and state senators who represent Loudoun County in the General Assembly. School Board members will present the program to lawmakers at an annual Legislative Breakfast on Dec. 1, and follow up with a dinner the Loudoun’s delegation Jan. 22.

dnadler@loudounnow.com
twitter.com/danielle_nadler

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