Oppose Exempting School Boards from Obtaining Authorization from the Local Governing Body

January 25, 2018

VACo opposes SB 440 (Wexton) that seeks to exempt elected local school boards from receiving prior authorization from the local governing body prior to instituting any legal action against another governmental body.

Action Required – Contact your Senators and express opposition to SB 440. The bill will reach the Senate floor early next week. If communicating via letter or email, please send a copy to Chris McDonald at cmcdonald@vaco.org.

Currently, all school boards must receive authorization from their local governing body before instituting any legal action or expending any funds towards such legal action against another governmental entity regardless of the school board’s selection method.  The bill seeks to narrow this requirement, only applying it to appointed school boards. Currently, over 82 percent of school boards in Virginia are elected.

SB 440 would allow any elected school board to institute a legal action and expend funds to do so against another governmental body without authorization from the local governing body. The local governing body is responsible for appropriation of funds to the school board and should be involved in this type of decision. The bill is a dramatic policy change that affects most local governing bodies negatively both financially and in their relationships and interaction with other governmental entities.

SB 440 reported out of the Senate Education and Health Committee by a narrow 8-7 vote.

VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.

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