Is John O’Bannon really helping Henrico Schools?

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Henrico, VA– In a race coming down to the wire between anthropologist and educator Debra Rodman and 17 year politician Delegate John O’Bannon, the final flyers of the campaign have begun landing in mailboxes around Henrico and Glen Allen.

In an interesting twist, Del. O’Bannon has chosen, as his #1 reason for re-election, his support for “local schools.”

John O’Bannon touts his record, but a closer reading shows that he has voted against Henrico County Public Schools repeatedly.

That claim, weighed against his legislative record, would be laughable if it weren’t so troubling. Instead of supporting Henrico County Public Schools, Del. O’Bannon has repeatedly voted to remove local control from the Henrico County School Board when it comes to accepting Charter schools in our community, and to make our award winning public schools susceptible to vouchers.

Just last year, Del. O’Bannon co-sponosored HB 389, which, as it was introduced, would have made every public school in Virginia vulnerable to vouchers, taking money from our public school classrooms and putting it into private, parochial, or charter schools. Many families in the 73rd moved to Henrico for the tremendous public schools, not to pay their hard earned tax dollars to fund an additional system.

Additionally, Del. O’Bannon has repeatedly voted in favor of unaccountable charter schools making their way into Virginia. O’Bannon was one of the deciding votes for passage of a controversial constitutional amendment that would have enshrined regional charter boards into the Virginia constitution. These boards would have taken decisions on allowing charter schools away from locally elected school boards.

Here in Henrico, our  school board has made very clear that they oppose any effort to remove local control, introduce vouchers, or open charter schools that don’t meet the same requirements as our award winning public schools. Against their advice, Del. O’Bannon has voted with special interests and party insiders to fundamentally change our schools.

We need a Delegate who will make sure that our public schools remain among the best in the Commonwealth. Debra Rodman wants to ensure that our schools have the resources to give every child a world class education and preparation for a 21st century economy. This means reducing the burden of testing on our students, empowering our teachers to teach critical thinking instead of to a test, and ensuring that STEAM and career training are part of our curriculum. Debra will support fully funding our public schools and will stand up to efforts to remove control from our locally elected school board. A vote for Debra is a vote for our Henrico County Public Schools.

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