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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Charlottesville School Board Referendum makes ballot

The citizens of the city of Charlottesville have collected the requisite signatures to put an elected school board question on the ballot this fall.
Councilor Rob Schilling and Jeffrey Rossman, a history professor at the University of Virginia, collected more than 3,000 signatures from members of the community. Signatures from at least 10 percent of registered voters were needed to secure the referendum.

A press release from the group adds the following:

Jeffrey Rossman, a University of Virginia professor and the initiator of the referendum petition, applauded the grassroots effort of scores of volunteers who gathered signatures over the past six weeks.

“Thanks to the hard work of our dedicated volunteers, voters will have an opportunity to decide in November if Charlottesville should transition gradually from an appointed to an elected school board,” Rossman said. “Judging from the response to the petition, a majority of Democrats, Independents and Republicans believe that the city should do what 78 percent of other Virginia localities do, and elect its school board.”

City Councilor Rob Schilling, who worked alongside Rossman to coordinate the referendum effort, was pleased with the broad-based community support for an elected school board.

“This is a nonpartisan issue with multipartisan support,” Schilling said. “From Primary Day forward, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians and Republicans have worked side-by-side, knocking on doors and canvassing public gatherings. It’s been our collective experience that over 80 percent of those approached to sign the petition, favored an elected school board for Charlottesville.”


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