Va.‘s Laws on Charter Schools Could Ease

Written by Holly RidgeSource: Courtesy of the Richmond Times Dispatch With a pro-charter school administration at the helm, Virginia's relatively tough laws regulating the specialty schools could soon change.

Gov. Bob McDonnell has said he wants to see changes to make it easier to open charter schools, even mentioning his support in his response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Wednesday.

He also appointed charter school proponent Gerard Robinson, who had served as president of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, as state education secretary. That organization aims to provide low-income and working-class black families with access to high-quality education through such programs as charter schools, school vouchers, virtual schools and more.

And in this General Assembly session, bills have been introduced that address charter school policies statewide. One submitted by Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William, would withhold state funding to school systems that deny applications from charter schools deemed acceptable by the state Board of Education.

The amount would be based on the average daily student membership proposed within the charter application. The bill says funding would continue to be denied until the local division approves the previously denied application.