Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Education
State Board of Education
Regulations Governing Local School Boards and School Divisions [8 VAC 20 ‑ 720]
Action Amendments Regarding Use of Controversial or Sensitive Instructional Materials
Comment Period Ended on 1/15/2014
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1/6/14  2:19 pm
Commenter: John Wright, Goochland County School Board

Local Authority

As in all matters education, I'd like to advocate for the VDOE to honor the constitution of the Commonwealth and allow control over education to remain with locally elected or appointed officials. Too often the intent of regulation is diluted or missed entirely as the Commonwealth attempts to create regulation that is broad enough to be effective in all locales. What works best in urban settings may be the exact opposite of best practices in rural settings. Simply put, one size rarely fits all.

Further, regulation is all too frequently written to address the exception rather than the rule. This methodology burdens locales with needless red tape, often negatively impacting personnel costs with no means of reimbursement, to address problems that don't exist within the locale's school system.

Last, such regulation without properly vetted and agreed upon definitions and conditions often lead to unintended consequences. In particular, even well defined terminology produces censorship based upon subjective moral and ethical platitudes, in a climate of rapidly changing vernacular and cultures.

Why not allow the locales themselves determine the appropriateness of curriculum and the resources used to achieve academic goals based upon the unique needs of it's population at specific intervals already mandates under VDOE code?

For these reasons, I am not in favor of these regulatory changes in their current form.

CommentID: 29860