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McDonnell's education agenda wins support page 2

Date published: 2/1/2013


Dyke also supported legislation co-sponsored by Sens. Ryan McDougle, R-Hanover, and Kenneth Alexander, D-Norfolk, to create an Opportunity Educational Institution to take over failing schools. An 11-member board would oversee efforts to restore the schools to full accreditation, then return them to control of the local school division.

"We've already lost generations of students because we haven't addressed the problem," said Dyke, who added that six schools currently would be subject to takeover under the legislation.

Pat Lacy of the Virginia School Boards Association complained that the board created by the bill would have virtually unlimited power. He and Sen. Richard L. Saslaw, D-Fairfax, also said they believe taking control of public schools away from localities is unconstitutional.

Sen. Steve Newman, R-Lynchburg, said a few schools continue to fail and "we don't know how to fix it. We don't have another solution."

On another 8-7 party-line vote, the committee killed legislation backed by Democrats to provide in-state college tuition rates to the children of illegal immigrants who live in Virginia and have paid taxes in the state for three years. Opponents complained that those children could take slots away from citizens, but supporters of the bill said it only provides in-state tuition--not a guarantee of acceptance--for children who had no say in being brought to this country.

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