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Trouble in Spotsylvania County Schools sparks action in Albemarle

School board races don’t often galvanize communities, but more than 400 people are already getting e-mails from a group called Forward Albemarle. Its mission is to promote diversity, equity, inclusivity and excellence in public schools – and to avoid what has happened in Spotsylvania County.

There, a group backed by MAGA Republicans, organized to elect a majority on the board of education – candidates with a disruptive agenda.

Amy Laufer
Amy Laufer
Former teacher and Cville school board member Amy Laufer helped organize parents to block a right-wing takeover of the Albemarle Board of Education.

“The first order of business was to fire the superintendent. The next order they had was to ban books," says Amy Laufer, a former school board member in Charlottesville and a progressive candidate for the General Assembly.

“There are national groups that are contributing money and volunteers to galvanize people to vote a certain way.”

She notes the new board in Spotsylvania replaced its award-winning superintendent with a guy who had no experience in public education and whose kids were home-schooled. Laufer and other leaders in Albemarle are now recruiting candidates for a school board election in November of 2023.

“There are four open seats in Albemarle County this next election, so we kind of wanted to get a head start,” Laufer explains.

Noting that Spotsylvania County now has hundreds of vacancies in its school district, Laufer and her allies also vow to support teachers and staff.

Sandy Hausman is Radio IQ's Charlottesville Bureau Chief