InsideNOVA: Bill to legalize Arlington School Board takes another step forward Print



Arlington’s elected School Board is another legislative step closer to being absolutely, positively, for-sure legal under state law.

The state Senate Committee on Education and Health voted 15-0 on Feb. 22 in support of a bill patroned by Del. Patrick Hope (D-47th) adding sections to the Code of Virginia permitting the county to have an elected School Board.

Arlington has been electing its School Board members for the past quarter-century, but when the state government in the 1990s authorized elected school boards, it neglected to include the language in the portion of the Code of Virginia dealing specifically with Arlington.

Whether the bill is absolutely needed is open to some debate; Arlington school officials at the start of the General Assembly session said elections already are covered under other portions of the Code of Virginia. But the Division of Legislative Services suggested that the measure was needed, just to make sure.

The House of Delegates – not known as a bastion of friendliness to Arlington issues – voted 99-0 earlier in the session to approve the bill and send it over to the Senate.