Open thread Nov. 2, 2021 Dan Crawford | November 2, 2021 6:09 am Comments (7) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
It is a cool dreary drizzly day in both northern and central VA this election day. The weather favors Youngkin, but early and mail-in voting favor McAuliffe. At least the campaign ads will end regardless of the election results. Wait until tomorrow.
[Oh, well. I expected as much when McAuliffe had his “deplorables” moment. Since he was only a gubernatorial candidate then he implied that his party was standing with him. Apparently he was not up on the 1992 law change allowing public referendum to elect school boards rather than having them appointed. Now Republicans think they have a mandate and they do, just not the mandate that they think they have. Their actual mandate is to not be as dumb as Democrats, but they cannot maintain with such a mandate as that.]
Why We Have — and Should Have — Elected School Boards in Virginia
October 15, 2009
By Kent Willis, Executive Director, ACLU of Virginia
In 1992, Virginia became the last state in the nation to allow elected school boards. Within a few years, voters in more than 80% of Virginia’s school districts decided to trade their old appointed school boards for elected ones.
The knock on appointed school boards was that they were too often occupied by unqualified hacks and sycophants who ignored their duties while using the position as a launching pad for political careers.
Now, after only a handful of years, voters in some parts of the state are finding fault with their elected schools boards, the knock being that unqualified people are getting elected and then using their school board experience to seek higher office.
Even if the results have been about the same for both elected and appointed boards, there is a simple, glorious argument in favor of elected school boards. Democracy is the governing principle of our culture and has served us well for more than 200 years. It can be messy and yield unpredictable results, but, generally speaking, the more democracy, the better. If we don’t like the results of elected school boards, we should pay more attention to making them work, not abandon them.
There is also an argument against appointed school boards. It is neither simple nor glorious, though, as it requires a trip through Virginia’s racially-tainted past to be understood.
Appointed school boards are part of the legacy of Virginia’s post-Reconstruction period, during which the state’s white leaders sought to limit the political influence of African-Americans. It culminated in the infamous Constitutional Convention of 1901, which was devoted to codifying Jim Crow practices. At that well-documented gathering, Virginia’s leading statesmen amended the Constitution to require literacy tests and poll taxes and reinstituted felon disfranchisement. They also rejected attempts to allow elected school boards in Virginia…
Maybe Terry did not know that parents vote or that voting matters in local government. Of course the incestuous relationship between local school boards and text book publishers probably does have more effect on pedagogical standards than parents’ wishes.
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