H'burg School Board to Vote Whether to Support Lawsuit

By: Brendan Ponton Email
By: Brendan Ponton Email

HARRISONBURG,Va. (WHSV) -- Tuesday night's Harrisonburg School Board meeting will be the first of the new school year. School board members will discuss a resolution that would support a lawsuit against a state takeover of schools.

The discussion is in response to a new state law which created the Opportunity Educational Institution Board, which would allow the state to takeover failing schools.

School board members will decide whether to pass a resolution in support of a lawsuit filed by the Virginia School Boards Association and the Norfolk City School Board to try to stop this new board.

The law was a major component of Governor Bob McDonnell's education agenda. Supporters say some schools have been allowed to fail for too long, while opponents think the law takes away power given to local school boards in the state constitution.

"To think that two hours away, a politically appointed group of people that have no ties or relationships with the city of Harrisonburg could possibly come in and tell our elected officials, 'no you're not going to do this. You're going to remove this people. We're going to privatize your schools,' is unfortunate," said Dr. Scott Kizner, the superintendent of Harrisonburg City Schools.

Kizner said, no schools in Harrisonburg are at risk of being taken over and said he thinks the state should have some role in watching out for failing schools, but he said there should be more balance than is in this law.

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