Hanover School Board Measure Passes: Delegate Peace Instrumental in Successful Amendment

Mechanicsville, VA - In today’s reconvened session of the Virginia General Assembly, an important measure was advanced benefiting the Hanover County School Board. In recognition of their leadership, the House approved an amendment to HB 466 by the Governor allowing for a salary increase for school board members from $4,600 to $8,000, amounting for the board’s first increase in ten years. The increase shall become effective on January 1, 2007.

“With our great schools, the Hanover School Board should be commended for their pursuit of excellence and positive outcomes,” remarked Delegate Peace. “A salary increase is likely an overdue acknowledgement of the personal commitment our board members make to maintain our high standards and meet the educational needs of our community’s most vital asset, our children.”

Due to language in Virginia Code §22.1.32 which requires that school board salary increases be enacted only in a year in which 40% or more of the school board’s members are to be appointed, the county would not have been able to enact the approved salary increase as the bill was originally introduced.

The Hanover County School Board is comprised of seven members who serve staggered terms of four years. As a result, no more than two members (28%) are ever appointed in any given year. In other words, Hanover never meets the 40% requirement to enact a salary increase.

To overcome this statutory obstacle and to enable the Hanover County School Board to enact the salary increase approved by the General Assembly, Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R-Mechanicsville) asked Governor Timothy M. Kaine to offer an amendment to House Bill 466.

The Governor’s amendment allows school boards to establish a salary increase prior to July 1, 2006, if such county school board has seven members who are appointed for staggered terms; the seven member school board has not received a salary increase for ten years; and at least one member of such appointed county school board is appointed in 2006.

Hanover was the first Virginia school district to receive the United States Senate Productivity and Quality Award for Continuing Excellence. Additionally, for the fourth year in a row, 100% of Hanover schools have earned full accreditation according to the Virginia Standards of Learning. The drop out rate in Hanover schools is less than 1% and 99.8% of teachers are “highly qualified” as defined in the federal No Child Left Behind Act.