The Virginia Senate defeated Governor Glenn Youngkin’s effort to require the entire Loudoun County School Board to run for re-election this year. Youngkin had amended Delegate David Reid’s (D-Loudoun) HB 1138, originally created to facilitate beginning a staggered election cycle for the various seats on the board. Earlier in April, Youngkin amended that bill, after broad Republican outrage over the district administration’s handling of sexual assaults and school equity initiatives.
In debate during Wednesday’s veto session, Reid warned about the precedent set by allowing the governor to shorten elected officials’ terms.
Loudoun County Public Schools has announced that it will hold town hall sessions at four locations on April 18, 19, and 21, with some sessions held simultaneously. On Tuesday evening, the school board also voted to form a parent advisory group.
“These Community Town Hall meetings will be facilitated by RTI International, an external firm leading strategic planning on behalf of the division. Loudoun County School Board members will also be in attendance. These sessions are designed to create a space for community members to think about and articulate their vision for all students in LCPS moving forward. Participating community members will have an opportunity to offer input and provide feedback on the most important actions they’d like to see the division take over the next five years, as well as programs and practices that they hope will be added, discontinued, or otherwise considered,” the district announced.
The Loudoun County School Board voted seven to one to elect former member Tom Marshall to the board. On Tuesday, the board left a closed meeting and immediately voted on the motion to appoint Marshall with little comment. Only Member John Beatty voted against Marshall, who was sworn in and seated immediately after the vote.
“The board has considered all criteria, including the public interest. Tom Marshall has served the district of Leesburg for over eight years, and has an extensive career in education, and will be able to return to his former seat knowing the staff and having firsthand experience with the budget cycle as well as strategic planning which we look forward to working on throughout the next year,” Member Denise Corbo said before the vote.
In a weekend that was part play, part work, attendees at the Republican Party of Virginia’s Advance spent weekend networking and attending events including a Friday reception with Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin, breakout sessions, a congressional breakfast, a luncheon with Attorney General-elect Jason Miyares, and a 1920s-themed gala and ball featuring Lieutenant Governor-elect Winsome Sears. The event was held at The Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia, which provided activities like the Cascades Gorge hike or a hayride. Moods were high as Republicans celebrated Virginia’s sudden-seeming return to swing state status, with more wins expected in future years.
“I encountered a relatively empty shell of an organization in August of 2020. But we have worked together, we have grown, we have expanded, we’ve answered the challenge,” RPV Chairman Rich Anderson said in remarks at the Saturday gala. “Virginia Republicans: we fought! We won! The Virginia GOP is red again.”
Fight for Schools has filed a recall petition aimed at Loudoun County School Board Vice-Chair Atoosa Reaser. The petition cites her involvement in two controversial Facebook groups, alleges Reaser’s knowledge of an assault at Stone Bridge High School, and says she has limited First Amendment rights of speakers during public comment.
Fight for Schools Executive Director Ian Prior said in a press release, “As Vice-Chairwoman, Atoosa Reaser has been part of the leadership team that has overseen and personally contributed to a complete breakdown in trust between the community and the Loudoun County School Board. From violating open meetings law, to ignoring the school board’s code of conduct, to neglecting to keep our children safe, all in the name of politics, Reaser has failed to lead and collaborate with parents and teachers that want a quality, safe education that respects the diversity of thought and viewpoint of the parents and students in her district.”
A Democratic activist told Loudoun County conservative parents that they are part of a “witch hunt” during a press conference condemning the district’s recent handling of sexual assault allegations within its high schools, Fox News reported Thursday.
At the press conference, Ian Prior, executive director of Fight For Schools and former Trump administration official, called on the superintendent to resign and asked the Justice Department to begin a Title IX investigation into its handling of the sexual assault allegations, Fox News reported.