Echoing constitutional concerns raised by the Norfolk School Board, the Republican attorney general said his office would not represent the state in taking over chronically failing campuses. With Norfolk preparing a lawsuit against the takeover law, Cuccinelli suggested that a special counsel be hired.
“It’s a purely legal issue,” the Republican AG’s spokesman, Brian Gottstein, told the Associated Press. He said the Virginia Constitution stipulates that “supervision of public schools must remain with their local school districts.”
On the other hand, Cuccinelli’s gubernatorial campaign has touted several state-directed education reforms, including strengthening Virginia’s charter-school law to challenge local control.
While state Democratic leaders applauded Cuccinelli's decision to bow out of the legal fracas, Jeanne Allen, head of the Center for Education Reform, assailed Virginia Republicans for failing to stand up for quality schools.