Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Gov. Bob McDonnell this afternoon suffered almost simultaneous defeats in the House of Delegates and state Senate on his proposals to revamp the failing school takeover bill and pump more money into the initiative.
A key piece of McDonnell's education agenda, the bill would create the state Education Opportunity Institution as a government appointed body to oversee habitually under-performing schools.
The governor amended SB 1324 when it reached his desk and the bill's patron, Republican Sen. Ryan McDougle of Hanover County, said McDonnell limited its scope.
Several education interest groups oppose the bill as bad policy they contend may be unconstitutional.
Hampton Democratic Sen. Mamie Locke urged colleagues to reject McDonnell's amendments, saying they are inconsistent with what the legislature already agreed to.
As amended, the legislation would have applied to public schools that failed to meet full accreditation standards over four years.
McDonnell's amendments to SB 1324 were rejected by the Senate on a 14-25 vote.
About the same time, the House by a 39-59 vote defeated his proposed budget amendment to provide $450,000 budget amendment to supplement the $150,000 in start-up funds appropriated for the takeover initiative.
The budget bill and the school takeover bills, sans those amendments, will be sent back to the governor after the General Assembly concludes its work at today's reconvene session.