Congratulations, Governor McAuliffe of Virginia for protecting the children and public schools of Virginia from predatory privatizers. For standing up to Trump, DeVos, and the corporate reform movement inside the Democratic Party, I add you to the honor roll of this blog.

Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed legislation intended to remove the authorization of charter schools from local school boards. He also vetoed legislation to permit virtual charter schools.

“Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe Thursday vetoed legislation sponsored in the House of Delegates by Del. Steve Landes that would have allowed the state Board of Education to create regional charter school divisions.

“The Senate version of the charter schools bill was introduced by Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg.

“Also Thursday, the governor vetoed for the second year in a row legislation sponsored by Del. Dickie Bell that would have created a statewide virtual school program that would have provided Virginia students a full-time online education program.

“The charter school legislation would have allowed eligible school divisions to establish regional charter schools governed by a regional board. Landes said the legislation was narrowly drawn and would have included at least one school in the regional division that failed two of the last three years to reach state accreditation. Landes said logically, two neighboring school divisions could partner on a regional charter school at the elementary, middle or high school level.

“Under current Virginia law, the creation of charter schools is left to each individual school board. Only nine charter schools exist in Virginia.

“In announcing his veto, McAuliffe said: “establishing regional governing school boards that remove authority from local school boards and their members, this legislation proposes a governance model that is in conflict with the Constitution of Virginia.”

“The governor said “public charter school arrangements are already available to divisions at the discretion of the local school board, which makes the ultimate decisions about the establishment, renewal and dissolution of charter schools with its division.”

“Obenshain responded to McAuliffe’s veto saying he [Obenshain] has been “a passionate advocate’’ for charter schools. He said the schools offer “a lifeline for escaping a handful of failing school divisions.”

“The senator said the governor’s veto leaves Virginia behind other states. “With charter schools recognized nationwide as a bipartisan educational solution to improve our children’s futures, Virginia remains far behind.”

“Obenshain noted that Virginia has nine charter schools supporting 2,000 students while Florida has 500 charter schools.”

Be it noted that Governor McAuliffe is a close associate of the Clinton family. His vetoes on these bills give a morsel of hope that there might once again be a mainstream in the Democratic Party that recognizes the power and importance of public education.