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York County School Board reverses policy decision, opts only for VSBA

York County School Board reverses policy decision, opts only for VSBA


York County School Board (YCSD)

YORK COUNTY The York County School Board has reversed its decision to use both the School Board Member Alliance (SBMA) and the Virginia School Board Association (VSBA) for policy writing services, choosing to opt for VSBA after finding an exclusion clause in the SBMA contract. .

At its March 25 meeting, by a 4-1 vote, the board passed a motion to use both SBMA and VSBA for policy drafting services. The decision was made to adopt both after discussion within the board and on the advice of board attorney Melanie Berry.

SBMA was created by former Suffolk City School Board member Sherri Story. She has said in interviews that she created it as a conservative association of alternative school boards for Christians and those who do not have a secular worldview.

VSBA describes itself as a nonpartisan organization of Virginia school boards that “promotes excellence in public education through leadership, advocacy and service.” VSBA has been the policy editor for the York County School Division since 2011.

At Monday's meeting, the public was informed of an opt-out clause in the SBMA contract that would require the board to select either SBMA or VSBA.

“When we had the discussion at the last meeting, we knew what everyone was going to cover, we knew what their costs were, but we didn't have the SBMA contract. When we received the contract, we found out that it had an opt-out clause, that we had to choose one or the other, meaning that it negated what we had done with this particular motion,” he said. explained board president Lynda Fairman.

Board member James Richardson raised the issue of amending the motion to only choose VSBA for policy writing services. According to Fairman, it was best to rescind the action from the March 25 meeting because amending a motion is usually reserved for small changes.

“What we're doing is canceling the whole issue of choosing both and then we'll have another motion to choose one or the other,” Fairman said.

Richardson noted that he had a “hard time voting on this when I don't know which one we'll choose.”

Fairman said she spoke to a parliamentarian about the issue, who agreed it was best to scrap the motion altogether and vote to choose between one or the other. When Richardson disagreed, Fairman pointed out that under Robert's rules of procedure, the president had the final say. Fairman added that rescinding the motion to reverse the action taken at the last meeting would then allow a clean motion to be put to the board for a vote, instead of dealing with amendments.

The motion to quash, however, failed due to voting against Mark J. Shafer and Richardson and needed a two-thirds majority to pass.

“To overturn required a vote of 4-0. With a score of 3-2, this does not meet this overturning requirement. The problem is if we have a motion to amend, that also requires a two-thirds vote,” Fairman explained after the vote failed.

She asked the board for another motion, this time including an amendment to eliminate both options and choose only one. Kimberly S. Goodwin then introduced a new motion to establish the Virginia School Board Association's policy writing services.

Goodwin's motion was seconded by Richardson and, after no further discussion, passed 4-1, with Fairman being the only no vote.

To view the meeting in its entirety, Click here. The next York County School Board meeting is May 6 at 6 p.m. at York Hall.




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