Rejuvenated Virginia GOP Prepares for Future Victories at 2021 Advance

In a weekend that was part play, part work, attendees at the Republican Party of Virginia’s Advance spent weekend networking and attending events including a Friday reception with Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin, breakout sessions, a congressional breakfast, a luncheon with Attorney General-elect Jason Miyares, and a 1920s-themed gala and ball featuring Lieutenant Governor-elect Winsome Sears. The event was held at The Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia, which provided activities like the Cascades Gorge hike or a hayride. Moods were high as Republicans celebrated Virginia’s sudden-seeming return to swing state status, with more wins expected in future years.

“I encountered a relatively empty shell of an organization in August of 2020. But we have worked together, we have grown, we have expanded, we’ve answered the challenge,” RPV Chairman Rich Anderson said in remarks at the Saturday gala. “Virginia Republicans: we fought! We won! The Virginia GOP is red again.”

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Fight for Schools Files Recall Petition Against Loudoun School Board Vice-Chair Atoosa Reaser

Fight for Schools has filed a recall petition aimed at Loudoun County School Board Vice-Chair Atoosa Reaser. The petition cites her involvement in two controversial Facebook groups, alleges Reaser’s knowledge of an assault at Stone Bridge High School, and says she has limited First Amendment rights of speakers during public comment.

Fight for Schools Executive Director Ian Prior said in a press release, “As Vice-Chairwoman, Atoosa Reaser has been part of the leadership team that has overseen and personally contributed to a complete breakdown in trust between the community and the Loudoun County School Board. From violating open meetings law, to ignoring the school board’s code of conduct, to neglecting to keep our children safe, all in the name of politics, Reaser has failed to lead and collaborate with parents and teachers that want a quality, safe education that respects the diversity of thought and viewpoint of the parents and students in her district.”

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Fight for Schools Files Recall Petition Against Loudoun School Board Chair Sheridan

Fight for Schools PAC Executive Director Ian Prior told the Loudoun County School Board on Tuesday that the group had submitted a new recall petition against Board Chair Brenda Sheridan. The new petition includes highlights from the months of controversy in the district.

“We told you this wasn’t about an election. And we’re still here. And we’re here with a petition for the removal of Chairwoman Sheridan. And it’s not the old petition. This is a new petition, drafted about two-and-a-half weeks ago, and we completed this in 13 days, over 1,200 signatures. And this petition has on it things like violating the first amendment rights of speakers and listeners in this board room. Remaining in the private Facebook group while people were plotting a disruption  at Leesburg Elementary to keep Tanner Cross on administrative leave. And doing nothing and allowing a now-convicted sexual offender to go into a different school where he then committed another alleged sexual assault,” Prior said.

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In Surprise Win for Recall Proponents, Loudoun School Board Member Beth Barts Announces Resignation

Loudoun County School Board Member Beth Barts announced her resignation, effective November 2, on Friday. Barts is facing a recall effort, and a judge recently declined to dismiss the recall petitions.

“This was not an easy decision, or a decision made in haste,” Barts wrote to the board and school officials. “After much thought and careful consideration, it is the right decision for me and my family.”

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Open Fairfax County School Board Files Motion to Reconsider Elaine Tholen Recall

Elaine Tholen for Fairfax County School Board, Dranesville

The Open FCPS Coalition is calling for the court to reconsider the recall case against Fairfax County School Board member Elaine Tholen. In a Monday press release, the coalition alleged that the prosecutor who said there wasn’t enough evidence to pursue the case had conflicts of interest.

“Following James Hingeley’s decision to not represent the over 5,000 voters that signed a recall petition against Elaine Tholen, it was revealed that Hingeley actually campaigned with Ms. Tholen in 2019,” the release states.

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Roundup: Fight for Schools Submits Petition to Recall Loudoun School Board Member Beth Barts; Other Virginia School Board Updates

Fight for Schools PAC announced Wednesday that they have collected 158 percent of the signatures necessary to ask a court to recall Loudoun School Board Member Beth Barts.

“For five months, Loudoun County has been at the center of local, state, national, and even international media attention. Much of this is due to the actions of Beth Barts. She has shown a complete inability to comply with the law, her own code of conduct, and the basic decency that accompanies being an elected official in the United States of America,” Fight for Schools Executive Director Ian Prior said in a press release.

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Loudoun County School Board Approves Transgender Policy

The Loudoun County School Board voted 7-2 to approve a transgender policy on Wednesday evening, in the second day of a two-part meeting. A public hearing was held Tuesday evening. On Wednesday, many board members emphasized the significant amount of time at the state and local level dedicated to developing the policy in response to Virginia law. Board member Jeff Morse spoke at length in opposition to the policy. He and member John Beatty voted against the policy and tried to pass a motion to send the policy back to committee for more consideration.

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Another Group Aims at Northern Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorneys for Recall

Another group is targeting northern Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorneys Buta Biberaj, from Loudoun, and Steve Descano, from Fairfax. This week, Virginians for Safe Communities (VSC) announced recall efforts against Biberaj and Descano, already the targets of a separate organization Stand Up Virginia (SUV). VSC is also targeting Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Deghani-Tafti, from Arlington and Falls Church.

“Northern Virginia deserves honest, hard-working, and effective Commonwealth’s Attorneys who seek accountability for criminals, protect our communities, and uphold the law without reservation or ideological blinders,” VSC President Sean Kennedy said in a press release.

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Behind the Scenes of the Effort to Recall Six Pro-Critical Race Theory Loudoun County School Board Members

Parents are organizing to recall six members of the Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) School Board who kept schools closed and reportedly allowed and encouraged critical race theory curriculum. LCPS parent Ian Prior – one of the leaders behind Fight For Schools, the recall effort – informed The Virginia Star that they have secured more than the 10 percent of votes each member obtained during the last election – and they’ve been busy gathering more. 

“At last count last Sunday, we were at 60 percent for Beth Barts, 54 percent for Ian Serotkin, 42 percent for Denise Corbo, 27 percent for Leslee King, 24 percent for Brenda Sheridan, and 20 percent for Atoosa Reaser. That was 10 days ago. People are out there collecting signatures: going door-to-door and attending events,” explained Prior. “We want to make sure that we have more signatures than required, which will obviously protect us from any challenges or whatnot. We’re still determining the best way forward.”

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Department of Education Responds to Concerns over Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative

After backlash from Republican politicians and activists over the Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative (VMPI), Virginia Department of Education officials held a Zoom meeting to respond.

On Monday, VDOE Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane said, “We’ve heard a lot of information shared in some sources with some information that’s just not accurate.”

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Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative Draws Concern Over Lowering Academic Standards

A proposed Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative (VMPI) has Republicans concerned after Loudoun County School Board member Ian Serotkin warned about the plan on Facebook, first reported by Fox News. Serotkin wrote that there are some good things in the initiative, like enabling students to take calculus in high school. But Serotkin also warned that the VMPI would end math acceleration before 11th grade.

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Loudoun Parents Group Forms Fight for Schools PAC to Recall Most of the Loudoun School Board

Loudoun Parents for Education (LPE) is launching a recall effort targeting six out of nine school board members as the latest in a conflict between parents and school leadership. On Tuesday, LPE launched the Fight for Schools PAC to engage in campaign-style efforts to change the school district, according to Fox News.

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Parents Submit Letter to Betsy DeVos Requesting Civil Rights Investigation into Loudoun Schools

Parents have submitted a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos requesting a civil rights investigation into Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS). These parents requested that the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to determine whether LCPS violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and the Constitution, as well as President Donald Trump’s “Executive Order on Combatting Race and Sex Stereotyping.” 
The letter alleged that LCPS engaged in discrimination when it excluded non-Hispanic and non-Black parents from federally-funded focus groups; mandated staff training on “implicit bias,” including white privilege, white supremacy, and unconscious bias; restricted disciplinary action on minority students to make data proportional; and excluded staff and student members from opportunities based on race.

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