By Erich Wagner (File photo)
Delegate Rob Krupicka (D-45) said that he — like other Democratic legislators — will fight the controversial Opportunity Educational Institution, a newly formed state agency tasked with taking over failing schools.
While a delegate is introducing legislation repealing the state institution, which passed through the General Assembly last year, Krupicka said it’s unlikely to gain steam. Legislators want to see how a constitutional challenge by the Norfolk City School Board against the agency plays out before trying to make any changes to the law, he said.
“We want to let the court case work itself out, and then we’ll have an idea about what kind of legislative changes we need to make,” Krupicka said. “It’s very difficult, and people are very reluctant to make changes while a court case is pending.”
In the meantime, Krupicka said he and other state representatives hope to slow the implementation of the Opportunity Educational Institution, which threatens to take over Alexandria’s embattled Jefferson-Houston School, by cutting off its funding.
Gov. Bob McDonnell’s final proposed budget allocates $600,000 to the fledgling agency for the coming fiscal year.
“We need to get that $600,000 out of the budget,” Krupicka said. “The secretary of education has essential control over implementation, but we should be able to manage any adverse impacts on Alexandria, and addressing the budget issue helps us with that.”