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The county school board chairman called it a case of "overreaching state bureaucracy."
Thursday, September 5, 2013
The Bedford County School Board is considering giving its support to an effort to oppose new legislation enabling a state entity to take over academically failing schools.
The board is set to review today a resolution supporting a lawsuit expected to be filed by the Virginia School Boards Association and Norfolk City School Board that argues the legislation is unconstitutional.
Gov. Bob McDonnell approved legislation forming the Opportunity Educational Institution and OEI Board, a statewide school division with authority to take over schools denied accreditation or accredited with warning for three consecutive years.
On Tuesday, the Lynchburg City School Board passed a resolution lending its support.
Bedford’s resolution going before the board tonight says the legislation “violates the Constitution of Virginia in that it usurps the role of local school boards in supervising and managing” schools.
The matter is listed under the board’s informational items, which means a vote is not expected until a later meeting.
Bedford County has 22 schools. Five were accredited with warning in the 2012-13 school year based on results from the previous year and all schools were fully accredited the previous two school years, officials said.
School Board Chairman Gary Hostutler said in an email he opposes the state taking over a school.
“Unless they can show gross negligence they don’t have this right as the schools are run by the localities, not someone in Richmond, so I would support [the lawsuit],” he said in the email. “This is another example of an overreaching state bureaucracy.”
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