I have been researching, writing, revising, and following the letter of the law in school policy throughout my education career. From 2018-2023 I provided monthly detailed advice as a member of the School Board Policy Advisory Committee. 

The Goochland community voice includes the morals, emotions and passions of our people as well as the needs unique to Goochland County.  Balancing community voice with efficient policies that are consistent with local, state, and federal laws and the conservative financial commitment of Goochland County can be challenging.

Please note that every School Board Policy includes legal references.  If you work through these references, you will find that state and federal laws and regulations serve as guidance and boundaries to local policy.  Therefore, it is important that each school board member advocates for public education to state and federal legislators.  We do this through personal communications to our legislators, meeting with our legislators, inviting them into our schools, and providing guidance on our school community priorities.  When the General Assembly is in session, we receive daily and weekly updates from advocates in the actual committee meetings, VSBA lobbyists.

School Board membership in the VSBA, an organization that supports local voice and choice, is equally important to ensuring that state and federal legislators are aware that their work impacts the work of our school division.

Virginia School Boards Association, a voluntary, nonpartisan organization of Virginia school boards, promotes excellence in public education through leadership, advocacy, and services.

VSBA’s government relations program ensures that the interest of school divisions is represented in formulating state and federal education policy.

In the 2022-2023 year I represented Congressional District 5 as one of 11 school board members in Virginia appointed to VSBA’s Federal Relations Committee.  This opportunity brought me face-to-face with our federal congressional leadership. Tone it down, Washington.  Political hype and grandstanding will not meet our local public school division needs. 

“Our leaders must remember that education doesn’t begin with some isolated bureaucrat in Washington.  It doesn’t even begin with state or local officials.  Education begins in the home, where it is a parental right and responsibility.”  –Ronald Reagan

School Board Policy BBA, School Board Powers and Duties:

The School Board

  • cares for, manages and controls the property of the school division and provides for the erecting, furnishing, equipping, and noninstructional operating of necessary school buildings and appurtenances and the maintenance thereof by purchase, lease, or other contracts;
  • provides for the consolidation of schools or redistricting of school boundaries or adopts pupil assignment plans whenever such procedure will contribute to the efficiency of the school division;
  • insofar as not inconsistent with state statutes and regulations of the Board of Education, operates and maintains the public schools in the school division and determines the length of the school term, the studies to be pursued, the methods of teaching and the government to be employed in the schools;
  • performs such other duties as are prescribed by the Board of Education or are imposed by law;
  • obtains public comment through a public hearing not less than ten days after reasonable notice to the public in a newspaper of general circulation in the school division prior to providing (i) for the consolidation of schools; (ii) the transfer from the public school system of the administration of all instructional services for any public school classroom or all noninstructional services in the school division pursuant to a contract with any private entity or organization; or (iii) in school divisions having 15,000 pupils or more in average daily membership, for redistricting of school boundaries or adopting any pupil assignment plan affecting the assignment of fifteen percent or more of the pupils in average daily membership in the affected school. Such public hearing may be held at the same time and place as the meeting of the School Board at which the proposed action is taken if the public hearing is held before the action is taken;
  • surveys, at least annually, the school division to identify critical shortages of teachers and administrative personnel by subject matter, and school bus drivers and reports such critical shortages to the Superintendent of Public Instruction and to the Virginia Retirement System or requests the superintendent to conduct such survey and submit such report to the School Board, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the Virginia Retirement System; and
  • ensures that the public schools within the school division are registered with the Department of State Police to receive electronic notice of the registration or reregistration of any sex offender within the school division pursuant to Va. Code § 9.1-914.

Legal Refs.:     Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-70.3, 22.1-78, 22.1‑79
Cross Refs.:    

AF      Comprehensive Plan

CBA    Qualifications and Duties for the Superintendent

KN      Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry Information

Excerpts from School Board Policy AE

Standards of Quality and Objectives

The School Board accepts the overall goals of public education as expressed by the Standards of Quality legislated by the Virginia General Assembly and implemented by State Board of Education regulations. 

The School Board reports its compliance with the Standards of Quality to the Board of Education annually. The report of compliance is submitted to the Board of Education by the chairman of the board and the division superintendent.

Standards of Quality Programs and Services

The School Board commits itself to providing programs and services as stated in the Standards of Quality to the extent funding thereof is provided by the General Assembly.

Legal Refs.: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-23.3, 22.1‑253.13:1, 22.1-253.13:8 8 VAC 20-131-20 Virginia Department of Education – Office of Equity and Community Engagement http://www.virginiaisforlearners.virginia.gov/edequityva/