Update on School Choice Task Force

by Carol Noggle, LWV-VA School Choice Task Force Leader

This month the LWV-VA School Choice Task Force has been busy following and reporting on School Funding related bills in the Virginia House of Delegates and the Virginia Senate. For more information about specific bills, please go to here. Once again this year, Virginia legislators have been working overtime to develop and to expand existing programs that affect the funding of Virginia’s public schools.

Virginia Constitution, Article VIII Education; Section 1.
Public schools of high quality to be maintained.
The General Assembly shall provide for a system of free public elementary and secondary schools for all children of school age throughout the Commonwealth, and shall seek to ensure that an educational program of high quality is established and continually maintained. Article VIII, Section 10 states clearly that State Appropriations are prohibited to schools or institutions of learning now owned or exclusively controlled by the State or some subdivision thereof.

The LWV-VA School Choice Task Force has developed a statement of Principles of Public Schools, which, in due process, will be presented to the LWV-VA Board of Directors and discussed in more detail the LWV-VA Council in June 2018. Principles being discussed include:

Public schools should prevail as the highest priority for school choice in Virginia based on their role and responsibility in sustaining democracy.
To be defined as “public,” there are expected responsibilities. A school is truly public if:

  • It is open to the public and all children;
  • It serves the public and prepares citizens to maintain government;
  • It is responsible to the public, who can participate in voting on school governance and can change policies;
  • It is a creator of the public by cultivating citizens to exchange ideas, prepare for discourse, respond to ideas, and work across differences
  • It sustains democracy by developing skills for participating and enacting freedom-oriented decision-making.

To hear more about this topic, and to ask questions, come to this event April 11:

01jan12:00 am12:00 am

For more information about the School Choice Task Force or to make arrangements for a Task Force member to make a presentation to your League, please contact Carol Noggle, task force leader, cnogg@comcast.net.

Note: image extracted from American Public Education and the Responsibilities of Its Citizens by Sarah M Stitzlein.