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Friday, March 31, 2023
ArlingtonOpinionEditorial: Students on School Boards? Don't dismiss it entirely

Editorial: Students on School Boards? Don’t dismiss it entirely

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Give Del. Alfonso Lopez (D-Arlington-Fairfax) credit for one of the more intriguing pieces of legislation to emanate from the Arlington delegation to the General Assembly this session.

Lopez is patroning a measure that would require School Boards across the commonwealth to have a student representative up on the dais.

The measure, which we would peg a long-shot and which may already have been acted on in committee by the time the ink on this editorial is dry (literally or figuratively), certainly can’t be desired by the Arlington School Board, whose members long have held that student opinion belongs relegated to an advisory panel that meets throughout the year and then issues a final report with recommendations in the spring.

Nearby Fairfax County officials don’t care one way or another – that school system for decades has had a student School Board representative (at first with voting powers, but those ultimately were stripped).


Lopez’s bill, if it were to win passage now or in the future, leaves the details up to the individual school systems. Details like: Should the student representative be appointed or elected? How long should the term be? Should they be paid? Should they have a vote or not? In what circumstances could a student member be removed?

Those who dislike mandates being handed down from on high in Richmond probably won’t like this proposal, but we’re intrigued enough to be writing about it, even if we’re of decidedly mixed feelings.

It’s an interesting measure, so we’ll track it and report back on who voted which way in the General Assembly on the bill.

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