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A proposed resolution supports a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of the institution charged with taking over failing schools.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Bedford County School Board members are set to vote tonight on a resolution supporting a pending lawsuit asserting the state’s Opportunity Educational Institution is unconstitutional.
The board may join other school systems in Virginia that support litigation filed by the Virginia School Boards Association and the Norfolk City School Board. The suit seeks to overturn the state law that created the institution charged with taking over failing schools.
The Lynchburg City School Board recently voted to support the legal action. Sandusky Middle School is among schools at risk of OEI takeover since the schools have been accredited with warning for three consecutive years.
The General Assembly enacted the legislation in this year’s session. The Bedford board will take up a resolution tonight arguing the law violates the Constitution of Virginia in that it “usurps” the role of local school officials in supervising and managing public schools.
The law mandates the OEI board to take over schools denied accreditation and can choose to take over those accredited with warning for three consecutive years.
In Bedford, a handful of schools are in a second year of accreditation with warning.
Bedford School Board Chairman Gary Hostutler said recently the OEI law is another example of state overreach and bureaucracy.
Also tonight, the board will discuss future adoption of a resolution calling on the Virginia General Assembly to re-examine public school assessments and accountability.
The Virginia School Boards Association and the Virginia Association of School Superintendents back the resolution. The Bedford board is expected to take action on it at an Oct. 17 meeting.
Today’s regular meeting starts at 7 p.m. A strategic planning work session is set for 5 p.m.
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