Loudoun Public Schools Administration Building

The Loudoun County Public Schools administration building in Ashburn.

The Loudoun County School Board released a statement last Friday thanking the Virginia Senate for rejecting the governor’s amendment to shorten the terms of the board.

On Wednesday, the Senate rejected Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s amendment to move up the Loudoun County School Board Elections for all nine seats a year earlier to November after the House of Delegates accepted it during a veto session in Richmond.

The amendment passed in the House, 51-48, but failed 18-22 in the Senate after nearly an hour and half of deliberations between both chambers.

“I am pleased that the General Assembly supports the voters of Loudoun County and rejected the Governor’s attempt to usurp their Constitutional authority,” Chairman Jeff Morse, Dulles District, said in a prepared statement.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the General Assembly and Governor Youngkin to ensure every child in Loudoun County receives the very best public education,” he said.

Superintendent Scott Ziegler said in a statement that LCPS will continue to focus on meeting the needs of the students and families to offer “highly competitive programs and educate our future CEOs, artists, engineers, entrepreneurs and service members.

“The School Board is working hard to build trust through open and consistent communication and engagement,” Ziegler said. “Together, we will continue to prepare the next generation to solve tomorrow’s challenges.”

Last year, HB1838 was signed allowing staggered terms at the end of their current terms, according to Del. David Reid (D-32nd) who carried the bill.

However, he said because the Loudoun Board of Elections was concerned about recruiting candidates, he carried HB 1138 to allow the board draw lots earlier from March to January so candidates would know in advance whether their first term was going to be two or four years.

Youngkin’s amendment would have required a special election in November for all nine positions on the school board for a term set to end in December 2023, the amendment states.

The governor has the authority to veto the original legislation or sign it into law, the Times-Mirror confirmed with legislative officials.

Macaulay Porter, spokesperson for Youngkin, did not respond last week directly to whether the governor would sign or veto the original legislation.

As previously reported, the Loudoun County School Board has faced criticism from the public, specifically during the COVID pandemic, over such decisions as reopening schools and addressing public safety following a pair of assaults at two high schools by the same teenager last year.

LCPS also faces a number of lawsuits and questions over whether it has adopted critical race theory (CRT) in its curriculum. School officials have denied LCPS has adopted CRT.

The American Bar Association has defined critical race theory as the understanding that race is “socially constructed and socially significant,” and that “racism is a normal feature of society and is embedded within systems and institutions.”

Youngkin, meanwhile, made education a key part of his gubernatorial campaign last year, specifically focusing on CRT.

(1) comment

jke

There is no trust to be had from people who lie and hide the truth. This is a slap in the face to every parent, grandparent... who have high hopes for the children of our country. Until the 2023 election we have to put up with garbage politics from a nonpartisan school board but be prepared to find other sources of income.

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