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Commonwealth's Counties

VACo supports bill giving additional authority to localities with appointed school boards

On January 24, the House Education Committee’s K-12 Subcommittee took action on HB 1574 (Walker), which allows the governing body of a county, city, or town to file a petition with the circuit court of the county or city or of the county within which the town or the greater part thereof is located asking that a referendum be held on the question of whether the members of the school board of the county, city, or town shall be elected directly by the voters.

Currently, there are only a handful of localities that still have appointed rather than elected school boards. Under current code, the only way to move from an appointed school board to an elected school board is through a voter referendum triggered by a petition signed by at least 10 percent of the number of registered voters in locality filed to a locality’s circuit court. This bill would impose no requirements on localities that choose to keep their appointed school board and would provide one more tool in the toolbox of local governments.

VACo testified in support of the bill, which was recommend to report by the subcommittee on a vote of 5-3.

VACo Contact: Jeremy R. Bennett

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