ICYMI: Norfolk should vote on electing school board

NorfolkElectedSchoolBoardMy latest op-ed, title above, appeared in The Virginian-Pilot Thursday. Getting this question on the ballot in November is a real possibility. Just this morning. I was told that the State Board of Elections says that the petitions have to be submitted by 5pm Wednesday, not Monday as was previously thought. As I mentioned in the article, 11,581 valid signatures are needed:

They need more than the 11,581 because some of the signatures won’t be valid; duplicates and those not registered in Norfolk are the most likely culprits.

There are five locations to sign petitions:

Organizers will be collecting signatures from 10am to 7pm at all the locations with the exception of Pretlow, where signatures will be collected until 8:30pm.

I’ve heard a lot of arguments about whether or not Norfolk should have an elected school board. At this point, that’s putting the cart before the horse.

Putting your signature on the petition doesn’t mean you support elected school boards; it means you support the idea of allowing the citizens to decide. We can – and should – have a robust conversation about the pros and cons of an elected school board after signatures have been gathered.

Then we can talk about the lack of taxing authority for school boards. Then we can talk about whether student performance is better or worse under an appointed or elected board. And then we can talk about which – appointed or elected – is more accountable to the citizens.

If you haven’t signed, please find time before Wednesday to do so.

My column appears in The Virginian-Pilot every week, usually on Thursdays. You can see the columns as they are published here, or navigate to them from the PilotOnline.com homepage by clicking on Opinion and then choosing my name at the bottom of the dropdown list. You can also see the columns by liking my Facebook page. Although my column appears weekly, I am not and have never been an employee of The Virginian-Pilot nor am I paid for my contributions to the paper.


3 thoughts on “ICYMI: Norfolk should vote on electing school board

  1. This is all about love of the Mermaid City and the future of our kids. Thanks Billy & Vivian!!!

    I think this is going to happen. Broad range of folks all working hard to make sure it does. Many people to thank.

    10,585 signatures submitted a week ago Tues, and 4,100 submitted today.

    Perhaps it’s better that City Council members in Wards 1 & 5 did not respond to emails regarding this effort. We can say it’s all grassroots & citizen effort.

  2. FYI–my hubby Bob got the cold shoulder at Kroc Center for tomorrow from their administrator. He has been instrumental in getting us into many places…including the DMV’s. Delegate Stolle’s office fixed that.

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