LETTER: Elected school board needed

Published 6:30 pm Wednesday, November 2, 2022

To the Editor:

The population of Southampton County is 17,829 (2020 census). According to the census there are 14,513 who are over 18 years old. We currently allow three of those 14,513 people to choose who can sit on the School Board. Those three are not even elected but appointed to the Selection Committee. The school board consists of eight people (one vacant seat) who represent different areas of the county. There is no way that those three folks can choose the best folks to serve each district. The people in the districts should be the ones making that very important decision. The selection committee does not know who would be interested, who would be capable or who would be best to make decisions for the Southampton County Public Schools. It has always been and continues to be “who you know” to choose the school board by this selection committee. There is no accountability for the selection committee or for the school board because neither are elected by the possible 12,125 registered voters (2019 data).  This is just one reason to make sure that you vote yes on Nov. 8 to have an elected school board. It will take several years to transition to an elected school board but it is well past the time for Southampton County to join the election process. Virginia was the last state in the nation to agree to allow elected school board members, but it has to be decided by the voters in the county. Southampton remains one of 17 counties to continue to appoint school board members. Vote yes, for elected school board on Nov. 8.

Rebecca Butler

Franklin