Governor-Elect McAuliffe Should Champion a Repeal Of State Mandates On Localities


Of course, I’m extremely biased in this regard — and also hugely disappointed that both the governor’s office and the General Assembly did very little to push the ball down the field when it comes to state mandates on local governments in Virginia.  Here’s but one example in Shenandoah County:

Existing requirements have forced the school system to increase salaries to compensate for larger contributions so that employees would not take home less pay. Costs may rise even higher next year.
At a recent joint meeting between the supervisors and School Board members at Triplett Tech in Mount Jackson, Public Schools Superintendent Jeremy Raley told supervisors that he expected the school system’s costs to increase by at least $1 million if changes to VRS are fully implemented. Supervisor David Ferguson asked Raley if the school system would be able to cut that million from elsewhere in its budget, but the superintendent said there weren’t many areas left to cut.

Governor McAuliffe has it within his power to champion a massive change in the relationship between local governments and Richmond, specifically as it pertains to education and greater localism.  The solution is quite simple: start repealing cumbersome and onerous state mandates to localities — especially in the field of education — and start treating local elected officials and school leaders as adults.

…then keep the A-F grading system implemented by Governor McDonnell.

Such latitude should leave school administrators free to excel.  Meanwhile, Richmond would be able to measure progress without interfering negatively.  Moreover, it would be a great launching pad for any sort of education reform in terms of say, dedicated funding, rather than throwing it on the back of the localities to meet the challenges of the future through an antiquated 19th century real estate property tax.

Governor-elect McAuliffe… be awesome and fix this.

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