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Regional charter schools legislation passes House education committee

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Key pieces of Governor Glenn Youngkin’s Charter School agenda have been voted down by the state Senate, which is controlled by Democrats. But what about on the House side?

Monday morning, the House Education committee advanced a bill that Governor Glenn Youngkin wants passed.

It allows for the Board of Education to create regional charter school divisions. Lobbyists for many educational advocates lined up in opposition.

Stacy Haney of The Virginia School Board Association was one.

“If you look at lines, 163 through 167, it exempts these new types, these state-created charter schools, from almost every single provision in the standards of quality,” Haney explained. 

The exemptions are sweeping. They would exempt these charter school divisions from requirements for student-teacher ratios, or a minimum number of support staff in special education and counseling. It also eliminates requirements for public involvement in school’s comprehensive plans.

It's not clear whether the legislation will eventually reach Youngkin’s desk. A Senate committee killed its version of the bill last week.

This week the House Education committee will also hear about two other pieces of the Governor’s legislative agenda. One permits universities to establish lab schools, and another would allow the Board of Education to approve local charter school applications.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.