Charter Schools

Should state -- not just local school boards -- have power to approve charter schools?

Should Virginia amend its constitution to allow the state — not just local school boards — the authority to establish charter schools?

That question could be before voters in a November 2016 referendum.

The issue has the potential to become a heated one in the upcoming General Assembly session, pitting school boards and an education establishment who say they want to protect existing public schools against those who say they want to bring more options to parents.

Charter schools — which operate with public money but hold some autonomy from local school divisions — have grown in number across the country in recent years.

But while many states...