Have Virginia Republican Elected Officials Given Up on Charter Schools?

by James C. Sherlock

Two things we know:

  1.  There is absolutely no question that charter schools run by successful charter management organizations (CMOS) are proven to be the most efficient and effective American public schools in instructing poor urban kids.
  2. There is also no question that many Democratic politicians, having eliminated any doubt about their hierarchy of values, have thrown those kids off the lifeboat in favor of the teachers’ unions.

But where, exactly, are Virginia Republican elected officials on this issue?

The only school choice bill I have seen from Republicans introduced in the General Assembly this session, education savings accounts, does not appear to help poor kids at all.

What is the thinking there?

If Democrats representing those districts — and they are all Democrats — are going to vote against their own kids in deference to the teachers’ unions (and they have in the past) why bother?

If that is it, I urge Republican elected officials to re-think this.

Doing the right thing for its own sake is worth the effort.

And this is the right thing to do.

Start with an amendment to the Virginia constitution that eliminates local school board approval and oversight of charter schools.  Give approval and oversight to a state charter board.

That will be a necessary first step because most urban school boards in Virginia and nationwide are operated for the benefit of teachers and administrators exclusively.

Please get started.