Floor Speech in Opposition to HJ 577, A Constitutional Amendment Taking Control of Public Charter Schools Away from Localities


On Monday, I spoke on the Senate floor against HJ 577, a constitutional amendment that transfers authority to create a public charter school from localities to the state Board of Education. I object to HJ 577 because I support keeping K-12 educational decisions at the local level. This amendment would have allowed the state to take local funds for state-sanctioned charter schools.


Local communities already have the authority to set up charter schools on their own – if they decide it’s necessary. The decision to create a charter school needs to be made locally with the involvement of teachers, parents, and local school boards. Amending the Virginia constitution to transfer the authority to establish charter schools to the Board of Education represents an unwarranted and unnecessary intrusion into local control of education.


The amendment was narrowly defeated on a 20-20 vote; 21 votes were needed for passage.


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