The Virginia House of Delegates today passed an amendment to Virginia’s Constitution that would grant the Virginia Board of Education authority to establish charter schools in the Commonwealth. House Joint Resolution No. 577 was introduced by Del. Rob Bell (R-Albemarle).
A constitutional amendment does not require the governor’s signature, but would not take effect until passed by both the House and Senate in two consecutive years and then voted on by the people of Virginia.
An identical Senate Charter School amendment, sponsored by Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Rockingham), passed for the first time in the Senate last week.
Speaking about the passage of the amendment, Del. Rob Bell said, “We have seen across the country that when families are given choices, they demand better schools for their children. That’s why charter schools have exploded in popularity in other states, giving students in failing schools a better chance of success. Virginia’s charter school laws currently have failed, resulting in only seven charter schools in a state of more than 8 million people. This constitutional amendment provides a path to a better education for children currently stuck in schools that aren’t meeting their needs. I have supported this charter school amendment for many years, and its passage this year in both Houses is an historic win for Virginia students.”