Remember when the Republican Party demanded local control of schools? Insisted on local control?

No longer.

In its quest for school privatization, the GOP has turned firmly against local control of schools. The local school board is the biggest obstacle to privatization by charters, so Republican governors like Virginia’s Glenn Youngkin create new state entities to bypass local school boards. It is hard to believe that Republicans were once staunch advocates for local control, but that was when the local school boards opposed desegregation.

Youngkin is proposing legislation that will enable “regional” boards, appointed by the State Board of Education (appointed by Youngkin), to authorize new charter schools. Local control is dead.

The Youngkin-backed charter school bill would let the state Board of Education create “regional charter school divisions” made up of two or three localities. Each of the localities would have to enroll at least 3,000 students and have at least one school struggling with accreditation.

The regional bodies would have the power to approve new charter schools, and would be made up of eight board members appointed by the state Board of Education, and one member appointed by the localities included in the regional division.

Under that system, localities would always have minority power and would be unable to reject charter school applicants — outnumbered by board members appointed by a charter-friendly state government.

Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Rockingham who introduced the bill, said the proposal addresses a key hurdle for charter schools to open in Virginia: That they need authorization to open from the local school district, which would compete with the school for enrollment and the funding attached to those students.

“We don’t have many people even applying because they know what the answer is going to be: no,” Obenshain said in an interview.

Republican solution to the problem: Eviscerate the power of the locally elected school boards and shift decisions to a board made up of Youngkin appointees.