VEA Honors Senator Who Blocked Charter Schools

by Kerry Dougherty

Need proof that Virginia Democrats learned absolutely nothing from last November’s GOP sweep of the top elected jobs in the commonwealth plus control of the House of Delegates?

How about this:

Yep, this far-left, aging obstructionist actually brags about an award from the Virginia Education Association. You know, the militant teachers’ group that fought to keep schools closed and students in masks.

They’re still fuming that they can’t bring masks back on a whim, thanks to Republicans in the General Assembly and a handful of smart Democrats who disobeyed Lucas and voted for the new law that took decisions about forced masking away from capricious school boards.

Gosh, so many Virginia Dems were worthy of this bowling ball “award.” How did Lucas distinguish herself to the VEA? Looks like she won for her spiteful efforts to thwart Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s initiatives at the expense of Virginia’s schoolchildren.

For example, Lucas worked hard to block charter schools.

The Old Dominion has fewer charter schools — just eight — than almost any other state. Only 1,218 Virginia kids are enrolled.

And it’ll stay that way until the GOP takes the State Senate, apparently. In fact, according to, Virginia ranks 42nd out of the 44 states that allow charter schools.

Nationally, 3.4 million students attend charter schools and 60% of those kids are African-American or Hispanic.

What exactly are charter schools?

All charter schools are tuition-free public schools—open to all students, regardless of their zip code. The charter school model empowers teachers to provide innovative, high-quality instruction and gives them the autonomy to design a classroom that fits their students’ needs. Charter schools are led by dynamic principals who have the flexibility to create a school culture that fosters student performance and parent satisfaction. Charter schools are held accountable to the performance standards they agree to in their charter and by their communities.

In other words, these are free public schools that don’t answer to their local school boards. Instead, they are accountable to their own governing board and parents. About 58% of students enrolled in charter schools are eligible for free-and-reduced lunches. These are often families that can’t afford private school and have turned to charters to give their kids a better education.

Of course the VEA loathes charter schools — they compete with existing schools for students — and so does Lucas.

How dare parents take their kids out of their neighborhood school and find a better place for them?

Lucas won this award in part for keeping this successful education model out of Virginia and our kids locked into their zip-code schools.

After all, why should poor parents enjoy school choice? That privilege should be only available to wealthy and upper-class parents who can afford private schools.

I hesitate to point this out, but Portsmouth public schools are among the worst in the commonwealth. Apparently, Lucas wants her constituents to shut up and just be satisfied with whatever the local schools are serving. There are plenty of job opportunities in Portsmouth’s fast food joints. The kids’ll be fine.

So what HAS Lucas done for her constituents,? Let’s see, she legalized casinos and weed. And oh, and she’s a strong supporter of abortions.

Improving educational opportunities for Virginia’s kids seems to be far down Lucas’ list.

No wonder the VEA honored her.

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21 responses to “VEA Honors Senator Who Blocked Charter Schools”

  1. Kathleen Smith Avatar
    Kathleen Smith

    Unfortunately, in Virginia, by code, charter schools do answer to local school boards. A lot has to change.

    1. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
      James Wyatt Whitehead

      It’s coming. Big time election in 2023. November 7 91 school boards are up for a vote. 95 Boards of Supervisors. 40 state senators and 100 delegates. Don’t forget your local sheriff, the Commonwealth’s Attorney, and even the Clerk of the Court. There are going to be many boxes to check on that ballot.

      1. John Martin Avatar
        John Martin

        why is that unfortunate? Who, then, should provide oversight?

  2. LarrytheG Avatar

    Are the proposed lab schools tied to the local school boards ? Would they be funded directly by the state? Any idea of how the funding would be done? On a per pupil basis?

    I assume that if the Lab schools are separate and apart from the local school boards, this is a “half loaf” that Youngkin and charter school proponents think might be worth doing – sort of the foot-in-the-door and bypass around the current opponents?

    1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
      Dick Hall-Sizemore

      The lab school bills were in conference and, therefore, were among those continued to the special session.

      As the legislation now stands, a lab school would be “tied to the local school board” only if the lab school elects to form a collaborative relationship with the local school division.

      Other than direct state funding (the House version of the budget includes $150 million for lab schools), it is not clear how lab schools would be funded. The fiscal impact statements for the lab school bills (HB 346 and SB 598) do a good job explaining the uncertainty surrounding the funding for the schools and pointing out the clarifications that are needed in the law.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        thank you!

  3. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    In the long run, does it matter if Republicans believe the Earth is only 4,000 years old… or QAnon?

    1. Lefty665 Avatar

      Guess it depends on what you mean by “long”:) Amazing how the Blue Ridge got so worn down in 4k years while the Rockies didn’t. Go figure.

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Just like dinosaur bones, God being a trickster… wait!

  4. tmtfairfax Avatar

    Perhaps, the AG will push to prosecute school board members who accept money from teachers union PACs for accepting bribes.

    Here’s what the NC DoE says about Charter Schools. “Charter schools are public schools of choice that are authorized by the State Board of Education and operated by independent non-profit boards of directors. State and local tax dollars are the primary funding sources for charter schools, which have open enrollment and cannot discriminate in admissions, associate with any religion or religious group, or charge-tuition. Charter schools operate with freedom from many of the regulations that govern district schools, but charter schools are held accountable through the State assessment and accountability system.”

    I think this meets Larry’s tests he’s suggested over time.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      Yep. I’m fine with them as long as they meet the same criteria for assessments and accountability AND prioritize kids who attend poorly performing schools and economically disadvantaged kids, i.e. the reason that many supporters claim why charter schools are needed.

    2. John Martin Avatar
      John Martin

      that is what NC says…………..which is worth about the product of my bladder is worth

  5. DJRippert Avatar

    Despite running unopposed in every election since 2007, Lucas received $73,821 from “Organized labor” and “Public employees” from 2007 – today.

    Campaign contributions to politicians who run unopposed are legalized bribery.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      we agree.

  6. John Martin Avatar
    John Martin

    Charter schools suck by just about every measure. Yeah, I know, the gop loves to cry “freedom” but charter schools are shitty schools and they rip off tax payers. Anyone who supports them has not done their homework

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      Man, you’re tromping all over Sherlocks Success Academy narrative…

    2. Last chance. Refrain from profanity or you’re banned from the site.

      1. John Martin Avatar
        John Martin

        what did I say?

    3. Baconator with extra cheese Avatar
      Baconator with extra cheese

      I truly believe the only solution to generational poverty is education. But I’m not a fan of charter schools either simply because they will draw a large portion of the good teachers in a usually poor school district to one school. Thus they make the under performing schools much worse.
      So a select few who win the “lottery” get the best teachers, while the kids left out get the dregs.

  7. John Martin Avatar
    John Martin

    “How dare parents take their kids out of their neighborhood school and find a better place for them?” They have always been free to do so.

    Charter schools suck.

    No public money for charters!

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