Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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September 13, 2013

Lawsuit challenging Va. school takeover law filed

NORFOLK, Va. — The Virginia School Boards Association and the Norfolk School Board have filed their lawsuit challenging a new law allowing the state to take over chronically failing schools.

The organizations had previously announced plans for the lawsuit, which was filed Friday 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.

The plaintiffs claim the law usurps authority granted to local school boards by the Virginia Constitution.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli agrees and is refusing to defend the law in court. The governor will have to hire outside counsel.

McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin says the law “is both constitutional and the right thing to do.”

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