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School boards to challenge Va. school takeover law

Wednesday - 8/21/2013, 8:35pm  ET

NORFOLK, Va. - The Norfolk School Board has voted to join the Virginia School Boards Association in a lawsuit challenging a new law allowing the state to take over chronically failing schools.

Board spokeswoman Elizabeth Thiel Mather says the board voted 5-2 Wednesday to authorize the lawsuit, which will be filed in Norfolk Circuit Court.

The law was a major component of Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell's 2013 education agenda. Proponents of the legislation said a handful of schools have been allowed to fail for too long, shortchanging students who are entitled to a quality education.

The school boards association says law usurps authority granted to local school boards by the Virginia Constitution.

The Virginia Attorney General's Office did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.


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