Amendment to Encourage Charter School Expansion
"New York City has 197 public charter schools while Virginia only has seven statewide. If we're serious about providing families with meaningful educational choices, then that has to change," said Obenshain. "I commend my colleagues in the House of Delegates for passing such an important measure. I especially want to thank Delegate Rob Bell (R-Albemarle) who has worked diligently on this issue as well."
"Charter schools work because they provide the flexibility to meet the needs of students who don't excel in more traditional school settings or who are looking for more specialized instruction. They also serve as an important outlet for children being left behind by other schools," said Obenshain.
A recent American Federation for Children poll notes that almost 70% of American support school choice. It also reported that 81% of Republicans and 60% of Democrats support school choice. Obenshain added, "Charter schools are one of the great educational success stories of recent years, giving new hope to students in major cities like Philadelphia, New Orleans, Minneapolis, and Washington, D.C. They are, moreover, a bipartisan success story, the product of Democrats and Republicans working together all across the country to improve our educational system. They have been embraced by conservatives and liberals and people everywhere in between – because they work."
This is an historic first step towards amending the Virginia Constitution to reform Virginia's charter school process, allowing more charter schools in Virginia. The constitutional amendment must pass the General Assembly twice in succeeding years. Resolutions, unlike most bills, do not go to the Governor for approval so it cannot be vetoed. If the resolution passes next year it will be submitted to the voters in the November 2016 general election for approval. This is the first charter school constitutional amendment to ever receive "first year" approval.