Voters will decide whether parents will get the power to elect Hanover School Board members

Hanover County School Board .jpg
Posted at 1:26 PM, Jul 28, 2023

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. — Voters in Hanover County will soon get to decide whether or not they'd like to begin electing Hanover School Board members or continue allowing the Hanover Board of Supervisors to appoint people to the role.

The Hanover School Board is currently one of only a handful of school boards across Virginia made up of appointed, not elected, members.

The vote to possibly change that distinction came after 100 volunteers gathered more than 12,000 petition signatures.

"Why wouldn’t we, especially when we choose all or most of every other position," Amy Buchanan, with the Hanover Citizens for an Elected School Board, said.

Buchanan was one of the volunteers who led the charge with the Hanover Citizens for an Elected School Board.

It’s a group that calls itself a nonpartisan, diverse collation of parents, educators, community leaders, and concerned citizens.

The group garnered enough support to get the choice on the ballot. This means they had to get at least 10% of the county’s registered voters to sign, adding up to 8,600 signatures.

“The Board of Supervisors just decides who they want to pick," Buchanan said. "That just seems not very transparent."

Hanover citizens haven’t voted on the issue since the 1990s.

Buchanan said she felt it should be the choice of the parents who live in that community versus one person's opinion about who would be the best fit.

Jack Dyer, with the Hanover County Republican Committee, said the organization is against the proposed change.

The committee represents the party for Hanover which he said represents 70% of the county's voters.

He said the Hanover Republican Committee feels letting the Board of Supervisors appoint has worked effectively for years.

“We feel more comfortable with the school board being taken care of by the elected board of supervisors," he said. "We voted them in to serve the seven districts of Hanover County and we look to them to make those appointments."

The two groups plan to spend the next three months educating voters about the referendum.

All community members in Hanover will get to have a say on the issue on election day on November 7. Early voting beings September 22.

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