Washington, D.C. Today, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed House Bill 2342/Senate Bill 1283, legislation that would create regional charter public school divisions that could authorize charter schools in areas of the state with struggling schools.
Following the governors veto announcement, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools President and CEO Nina Rees released the following statement:
"This is a discouraging day for Virginia students and families. While there are district public schools across the state doing right by their students, there are far too many students trapped in failing and unaccredited schools. It is unacceptable that these students do not have access to a high-quality public school.
"By vetoing this legislation, Governor McAuliffe has closed the door on these students and families, leaving them stuck in schools that aren't meeting their needs or adequately preparing them for college and career. These families need options.
"Virginia has had a charter school law for nearly 20 years, but after all that time only nine charter schools are open. This bill would have made it easier to open charter schools in regions that need them the most.
"While we are disappointed with todays decision, the fight is not over. Virginia students and families still need access to high-quality charter schools and we will continue advocating on their behalf. We are grateful to Senator Obenshain and Delegate Landes for their leadership of this legislation and look forward to working with the legislature and a new governor next year to advance new charter school legislation and provide more options for students who are left behind by today's decision."
Virginia's charter school law, originally passed in 1998, has long been ranked one of the worst in the country (currently at 39 out of 44) according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.
About the National Alliance
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector.