Youngkin Seeks to Force Loudoun School Board Elections this Fall

During last year’s General Assembly session, the Loudoun County School Board sought and won state authority to transition to staggered terms starting next year. On Monday, Gov. Glenn Youngkin amended an update to that bill, seeking to trigger snap elections for all nine School Board members this fall, cutting short the terms of seven elected officials by one year.

Youngkin’s office declined a request to for an interview about that action.

The amendment comes amid the Attorney General Office investigation into the School Board’s handling of a sexual assault scandal that occurred in two Ashburn high schools and two members face removal petitions in Circuit Court. Spokeswoman Victoria LaCivita declined to comment on the status of the investigation.

The School Board sought the transition to staggered terms to ensure continuity following the 2019 election when only two of nine elected members had prior experience. That passed last year. This year, House Bill 1138, largely a technical amendment to that legislation before Youngkin’s amendment, passed the House of Delegates with a 100-0 vote and the Senate with 39-0-1 vote.

In a statement on April 12, Del. David Reid (D- 32), the bill’s patron, called Youngkin’s amendment “another attempt by some Republicans to subvert our democracy and hold it hostage to a right-wing minority.”  Reid has not responded to an interview request.

Under Virginia law, the amended bill would become law with a majority vote among members present in both houses. If two-thirds of members in both houses vote to oppose the amendment, the original bill becomes law. If neither action occurs, the original bill returns to the governor’s desk.

In Loudoun, a county which Youngkin lost in November 2021 by nearly 10 points, local elected officials are speaking out against the amendment.

Two seats were already bound for the ballot this fall in special elections, as Andrew Hoyler (Broad Run) and Tom Marshall (Leesburg) were both appointed to their seats in 2021.

Hoyler, who is running for election in the fall, shared his shock over Youngkin’s action on Twitter.

“I was extremely surprised with the news this morning regarding forced elections for all school board seats this November, as opposed to just my seat and Mr. Marshall’s seat. Despite my differences with my each of my colleagues, I do NOT support Governor Youngkin’s amendment,” he wrote.

Atoosa Reaser (Algonkian), one of the School Board members facing a removal effort, also released a statement.

“Tens of thousands of parents cast their ballots in the 2019 election. I believe any attempt to undermine their votes and voices will be seen as a political effort that only serves to create more chaos, which I think hurts the students in our school division. The best interest of the children and their families will continue to guide me,” she wrote. 

Meanwhile Democrats on the Loudoun Board of Supervisors also objected in a press release.

“By adding this unnecessary amendment to a simple administrative bill, which was requested by the Loudoun Board of Elections at the behest of the Loudoun County School Board, Governor Youngkin is opening the door for any future majority and Governor to undermine local elections and local control,” it reads. “The members of the Loudoun County School Board were elected to serve 4-year terms, and they should be allowed to serve the full duration of their terms. We continue to seek ways to work with the Governor, and his party on substantive issues that will benefit Loudoun County. Now that the Gubernatorial campaign is complete, we look forward to Governor Youngkin… governing.”

Representatives from Youngkin’s office declined an interview request. A spokesperson shared a prepared statement attributed to Youngkin instead.

“The last few years signified some real challenges with the Loudoun County School Board. So, in the spirit of transparency and accountability, my Amendment gives parents the ability to elect their school board this year, one year earlier than it was stated in the original legislation. This election can reflect the will of parents and it’s a chance with my amendment to do that right now, this November,” it reads.

The possibility of November 2022 elections comes as the School Board announced four Town Hall meetings to connect with members of the public. 

The town halls will be held on April 18 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at both Tuscarora High School and Briar Woods High School, and on April 19 from 7 p.m. – 9 pm. at Stone Bridge High School and Dominion High School.

This story was updated Tuesday, April 12 at 3:40 p.m. with additional comment.

15 thoughts on “Youngkin Seeks to Force Loudoun School Board Elections this Fall

  • 2022-04-12 at 9:19 am
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    Youngkin needs to keep his nose out of Loudoun’s business. What does he care about Loudoun (other than to use Middleburg as a tax shelter)? Loudoun is a great community with a great school board. I’ve always viewed it as the Land of Love (something Youngkin wouldn’t understand). Happy Easter Loudoun!

    • 2022-04-12 at 2:47 pm
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      A “great school board” wouldn’t be making national headlines with coverups and blatant lying to the public.

    • 2022-04-12 at 3:39 pm
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      Every person in America knows how bad the Loudoun School Board is. The sooner we get rid of them, the sooner we can correct problems that have been festering for years. If you deny that we have a problem, then you lose all credibility.

    • 2022-04-12 at 7:39 pm
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      More partisan nonsense Timmy.
      Finally we have a governor that is willing to take on the obvious problems with the radicals on the school board and allow voters to decide who they want to represent them.

  • 2022-04-12 at 9:48 am
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    Good! Based on all the revelations we have experienced over the last 18 months regarding this board, the voters of Loudoun should all have the opportunity to have our voices heard at the ballot box, in order to affect change in our School system immediately. Delaying to normal voting cadence is not acceptable – our system needs to change ASAP for the good of our children and every month of delay is another month our kids are exposed to this system.

    • 2022-04-13 at 10:18 am
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      These folks were voted in! Having more elections doesn’t seem to fix the problems. Is it because there are no qualified candidates or no one wants to get caught up in the mess that appears to be this school board? It certainly is a bizarre situation. Too much attention to being PC, bending over to every perceived “inequality”. The system is getting bogged down by things that should be left to parenting and done within the home. I’m sorry but does a 3rd grader really understand gender issues! We don’t need 3 or 4 bathrooms for kids going through normal flip flops. I certainly didn’t freak when my son played with dolls at 6 with the neighbor’s girls! Society is creating issues where there are none. Educate the kids, keep inappropriate books out of their reach, use logic and common sense. There is always someone who will oppose something and we have gotten bogged down in that nonsense rather than giving our kids a good education. I spent a whole year studying Virginia history back in the 50s, bet we don’t do that anymore because someone will get offended about what happened 300 years ago! History can’t be changed. But all we do is beat this dead horse. If education is done correctly they will learn right from wrong.

  • 2022-04-12 at 10:02 am
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    Speaking of AG Miyares’ investigations… why didn’t LN report on the Lovettsville gas station which was accused of price gouging last year and agreed to pay fines and penalties last week?

    When a business is caught “screwing” the people of Loudoun, you’d think a community-based newspaper would treat it a news-worthy.

  • 2022-04-12 at 1:26 pm
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    It’s time to remind Loudoun County that they represent and work for the residents and parents of the county. Their radical ideological acts would have led reasonable people to resign in shame. But they have no shame and will force Loudoun residents to remove them from office.

  • 2022-04-12 at 2:14 pm
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    EXCELLENT! Maybe this time the majority of Loudoun voters will show up instead of ignoring a local election. 🙂

  • 2022-04-12 at 5:40 pm
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    The best interest of the children and their families will continue to guide me – I could not agree more and this amendment does just that. The current school board pulled the wool over parents and voters eyes – never saying how radical they were till after they got in office. That alone should disqualify them from holding elected office.

    Good for Governor Youngkin for standing up for parents and students.

  • 2022-04-12 at 5:50 pm
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    Thousands of Loudoun voters ignored party affiliation to sign petitions recalling four of the current school board members. Along the way the entire school board took outrageous punitive measures to deny parents the right to voice their concerns.
    Loudoun could really use the opportunity to clear the air. I hope every Loudoun legislator will support this amendment so we can move on from this disgusting performance.

  • 2022-04-12 at 7:13 pm
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    It is a shame the school board has forced the Governor to do this. If the school board had been more open minded and willing to cooperate with the other parents and compromise we would not be in this position.

  • 2022-04-13 at 12:22 am
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    > In a statement on April 12, Del. David Reid (D- 32), the bill’s patron, called Youngkin’s amendment
    > “another attempt by some Republicans to subvert our democracy and hold it hostage to a right-wing
    > minority.”

    Delegate Reid would do well to learn that we have a republic, not a democracy, and the only people subverting anything are the Democrats. Based on his actions, he has no business claiming any kind of status as a veteran… because all he does is simultaneously slap veterans in the face, punch them in the gut, and kick them in the nether region.

    > Atoosa Reaser (Algonkian), one of the School Board members facing a removal effort, also released a
    > statement.
    > “Tens of thousands of parents cast their ballots in the 2019 election. I believe any attempt to
    > undermine their votes and voices will be seen as a political effort that only serves to create more
    > chaos, which I think hurts the students in our school division. The best interest of the children and
    > their families will continue to guide me,” she wrote.

    The same way they guided her when she joined a private Facebook group that violated the open meeting laws and called for potentially illegal acts to be committed? The same way they guide her when she permits or encourages equality of outcome based on outward appearances? The same way they guide her to help sweep a sexual assault by one student against another under the rug only to have the same perpetrator commit another act of sexual assault in another school? She is living proof that Phineas Taylor Barnum was right… because she played the Algonkian district voters (“tens of thousands,” using her own words) for suckers and they bought into it. Oh, and she is an attorney in Virginia? You would think she would know better regarding the open meeting laws.

  • 2022-04-13 at 3:11 pm
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    *Yawn…

    Ain’t gonna happen. Guv Fleecy know it- he’s just signaling for the rubes.

    Look above to see how well it worked- swing the slop bucket around and they come a runnin’ !!

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