Statement from Delegate Bell regarding Governor McAuliffe's veto of House Bill 1400


RICHMOND, VA – Governor McAuliffe has vetoed House Bill 1400, Delegate Bell’s legislation to establish fulltime Virtual School Programs in Virginia. Delegate Dickie Bell issued the following statement:

“I am deeply disappointed that Governor McAuliffe has vetoed legislation to establish the Virginia Virtual School. With a single stroke of his pen, the Governor has once again denied educational choice to thousands of students and their families, including students that are already on the waitlist.

“The Governor’s actions today prove to be yet another inconsistency in his long history of inconsistencies on this issue.  Governor McAuliffe signed substantially similar legislation with re-enactment language in 2015, yet vetoed legislation identical to House Bill 1400 in 2016.  In January, he once again embraced the idea of virtual education by putting forth his own virtual education proposal.  The General Assembly, however, overwhelmingly rejected his legislation in favor of House Bill 1400.  

“Virginia is a leader in so many areas, but we continue to fall further and further behind with regard to virtual learning. Thirty states already have full-time virtual programs, and Virginia is still not one of them.  Governor McAuliffe is a strong advocate for the use of new technology with regard to economic development, yet has repeatedly put politics over policy and rejected new technology when it comes to virtual learning.  

“Virginia is very fortunate to have one of the best education systems in the United States.  We have many fantastic schools and wonderful teachers who allow our students to thrive in the traditional classroom.  Yet some students are still being left behind. Virtual Education provides one more option for those families that find that their children to not excel in a traditional brick and mortar school.  I trust our parents to make these choices for their families and I wish Governor McAuliffe would do the same.

“We have lost this battle, but the fight for virtual education is not over.  I am committed to expanding virtual education in the Commonwealth and I will continue our work throughout the interim and, if re-elected in November, into the 2018 General Assembly Session.  Every child in Virginia deserves a chance to succeed, regardless of their individual circumstances or their zip code. I will continue to stand as a leading voice for those children and families who need alternatives to the traditional classroom.”


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