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Southampton County could see change in school board member selection process

Published 3:00pm Wednesday, February 6, 2013

BY ALLISON LANDRY/CAPITAL NEWS SERVICE

landryae@vcu.edu

 

RICHMOND—The House has passed a bill to eliminate a committee in localities such as Southampton County to choose school board members and have the county supervisors appoint the school board instead.

Delegates unanimously approved the bill Friday and sent it to the Senate. On Monday, the bill was referred to the Senate Education and Health Committee.

The bill’s sponsor, Del. Rick Morris, R-Carrollton, said the goal is to make school boards more accountable to the public.

“I strongly believe that when the citizen’s tax money is being spent, (the government agency) needs to be held accountable in some way,” Morris said. “And the school board selection commission has no accountability to the citizens because they are appointed by an unelected judge.”

Until 1991, school boards in Virginia were appointed. A year later, the General Assembly gave localities the option of having voters elect school board members. That’s now the practice in the vast majority of the state’s 134 school districts.

Southampton County is among the 24 school districts in which school board members are still appointed. In those districts, the school boards can be appointed by the county’s governing board or by a school board selection commission. Southampton is one of three districts that has a committee chose its school board.

If the bill passes the Senate, the selection commissions would be abolished, and the county’s board of supervisors would appoint school board members in localities that do not directly elect their school boards.

 

  • happy2

    About time! Thank goodness Franklin needs this, years ago, ASAP will do!

    Suggest Removal

  • sgeary

    Finally a bit common sense comes to the area. Now lets take the final step and make them elected positions!!!

    Suggest Removal

  • kingradman

    brought to you by the people that enacted the “trash tax”

    Suggest Removal

  • ncheck

    It is time for Southampton and Franklin to move for elected school boards with two term limits.

    Suggest Removal

  • chilimac72

    I can see the benefits, but seriously would not want some of the Supervisors picking School Board members. This should spur the county to move to elected school board members.

    Suggest Removal

    • geographically challenged

      I agree with you completely. If there is a change, which I think there should be, it should be for voter election of the school board. When you look at the normal demographics of the “Board” how many of them ACTUALLY have kids in school currently, and if they do, how many of them go to public school instead of the County. There should be true representation by people who are up to date on current problems in all of our schools, not just how it used to be.

      Suggest Removal

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