The Arlington School Board supports imposing new requirements on families with deeply held religious beliefs this holiday season.
On December 14, the Board voted unanimously to ask the legislature to require families who seek a religious exemption from compulsory school attendance to reapply every year to maintain it.
Currently under Virginia law, a one-time request can cover a child throughout their school-age years. However, there are already Attorney General rulings that give local school boards the ability to ask parents to reaffirm their desire to maintain the exemption on an ongoing basis. In other words, putting this into statute is completely unnecessary if the local school system wishes to implement a system to periodically check in with families.
This was a late addition to the legislative package. The School Board approved this provision by a voice vote and without a single Board member speaking to the necessity of including it. Arlington’s lobbyist did state the Virginia School Boards Association wanted it, but didn’t say why other than a nebulous desire for “accountability.”
No one told us how many families this impacted here in Arlington. Not a single Board member asked the lobbyist a simple question like, “has there suddenly been an outbreak of faked religious exemptions that we are unaware of here in Arlington?” And if not, why is the government seeking to impose an additional burden on these families?
It was just unanimously accepted by the all-Democrat Board that a new state law requiring annual certification in all jurisdictions was a necessary step to take, even in a community that does not want it.
All we can assume from the facts in front of us is that there is no demonstrable need to do this either in the interest of protecting children or in terms of Arlington Public Schools existing ability to check in with families every year. If you are a person of faith who gained the exemption, it sends a signal that Arlington Public Schools lead by the Democrats on the School Board remain suspicious of you and your First Amendment Constitutional right.
It really should not be that surprising. The School Board has consistently been opposed to any form of parental choice made outside of their control, including charter schools. And they continue to oppose any form of tax credits or deductions of tuition expenses for tax paying parents who believe their child’s needs would be best served outside of public education.
This is not a complaint against the quality of our schools here in Arlington. But our policy should be that every child has the opportunity to receive the education that best serves them.
Take a tour of the Courthouse neighborhood and explore two local favorites of Sallie Seiy, your guide in the latest Neighborhood Spotlight.
Good Friday evening, Arlington. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier today…
The Arlington County Board and the Human Rights Commission are at odds over whether commissioners had the right to request an investigation into possible human and civil rights violations at…
Expanded renovated 4 BR 3 bath with garage in Cardinal Swanson Yorktown pyramid
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🎉 Tonight, we invite you to the French Riviera, one of the most exciting places on earth – without ever boarding a plane! And celebrate Mardi Gras and the Carnival of Nice on French soil as we welcome you to a special evening at the Embassy of France!
From the elegance of classical French culture to the most celebrated Rivera nightlife of the 21st Century, experience a special evening of fantastic French food, wine, music, and ambiance.
Enjoy the flavors of Nice, Monaco, and St. Tropez in the beautiful and festive Maison Francaise at the French Embassy.
🍽️ On the Menu: Delicious French food
Cody Chance and Dick Nathan of Long & Foster are hosting a free workshop on the topic of “down-sizing” at their office on Cherry Hill Rd. (formerly Lee Highway) in Arlington on Thursday, February 29 from 5:30PM-7:00PM.
Every great endeavor