Governor's School Takeover Amendments Rejected

Apr 3, 2013

The House has shot down one of Governor McDonnell's budget amendments during the General Assembly’s Reconvened Session. 

It will effectively scale back one of his priorities—an education reform initiative.

The Governor had tweaked the bill to specify how a new state division would take over chronically underperforming schools.  He also added $450,000 dollars in state-funded seed money. That's $300,000 dollars more than lawmakers had originally agreed to.  Delegate Ed Scott, who supports the bill, believes the Governor was reaching for a bit too much:

"We have struggled with what is truly the definition of an instructional cost and so now we have an amendment inserted in here that seeks to impose this--something that we have never been able to agree on before," said Scott.

But retired teacher and House Majority Leader Kirk Cox thinks limiting the funds to $150,000 might not be effective.

"I'm not saying that you'll set it up to fail because I still think you can make it work but I just think that's wise.  If you look at any central administration--I'm not big on central administration--if you look at even a small district, they're going to have nine, they're going to have maybe seven to nine people in that administration.  And so at $150,000  I'm not sure what you fund with that," said Cox.

The bill that remains will still allow a new state Opportunity Educational Institution Board to assume management of a small number of schools that have been denied accreditation.

 Audio FileTommie McNeil reports from Richmond.Edit | Remove