Va. Assembly OKs Special District for Failing Schools

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Under the proposals, any school that fails to meet accreditation standards would answer to a new school board, the Opportunity Educational Institution, instead of their local board. The institution would have widespread authority to make staffing, curriculum and program changes and to contract with an outside “school turnaround” firm.

Six schools throughout the state – half of them in Norfolk – would qualify for transfer to the institution, Deputy Secretary of Education Javaid Siddiqi told lawmakers during a committee hearing last week. The others are in Northampton County, Petersburg and Alexandria, he said.

The measure, one of Gov. Bob McDonnell’s top education priorities, passed the House on a 66-34 vote, followed by Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling breaking a tied vote in the Senate.

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