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Government Relations

Photo of Legislators tour ROTEC and talking with studentsLegislation at the local, state, and national level directly impacts public school systems and our students. The CSGRO works with elected officials to help convey the needs of Roanoke City Public Schools students and staff so, as legislation is drafted, RCPS is a partner in the conversation and can advocate on behalf of our stakeholders.

Click here to download the Roanoke City Public Schools Legislative Priorities & Key Positions.

Click here for White Papers highlighting the local impact of select educational priorities.

Click here for information on RCPS' use of Pandemic Relief Funding.

Key Priorities

Roanoke City Public Schools is always working to ensure students have access and opportunity to fully participate in their education, allowing them to reach their full potential.  This includes advocating for the elimination of outdated laws and regulations that have not kept pace with innovation and are barriers for our students, families, and educators.

Each year, the General Assembly considers numerous issues of importance to the Commonwealth’s public-school students and to the school employees who deliver the promise of a high-quality public education.  We urge legislators to contact the School Board or Superintendent whenever local data and insight may inform policymaking in Richmond.

The Key Positions presented here are intended to provide brief summaries with local context on select topics including:

  • Local Control Teaching and learning are complex processes.  While public education is a national priority and a state responsibility, it is ultimately a local function.  The Roanoke City School Board urges state and federal government leaders to create conditions that facilitate innovation by supporting School Board authority and enabling decisions to remain local.
  • School Safety & Security – Schools are accountable for student outcomes, teachers are accountable for student progress, and students are accountable for their decisions, but outdated language in the Code of Virginia limits holding adults accountable for failing to prevent access to weapons by children and making verbal threats against teachers.
  • Employee Compensation – Significant, needed, and appreciated investments in employee compensation were made for SY 22-23, but the harsh reality is that Roanoke City teachers today have $1,656 less buying power than they did 15 years ago.  There are many factors related to the teacher shortage, but compensation remains chief among them. 
  • Quality Retirees Needed due to Teacher Shortage – VRS rules for the employment of retired teachers vary widely (from 1 to 12 months) and unnecessarily complicate the hiring of retirees in areas identified as critical shortages. 
  • Workforce Development – The Roanoke City School Board is committed to doubling Career and Technical Education (CTE) opportunities in SY 23-24 and requests that the General Assembly consider additional one-time support for equipment and technology.  The Greater Roanoke Workforce Development Board (GRWDB) supports Roanoke City Public Schools’ efforts to double CTE opportunities for students.  The following one-sheeter provides their recommendation for support:
         1. Greater Workforce Development Board Recommendations – Word format
         2. Greater Workforce Development Board Recommendations - PDF format
  • Complete Elimination of the Support Staff Cap – The Roanoke City School Board urges the General Assembly to adopt a state budget that fully funds its commitment to teaching and learning by finally and fully eliminating the Support Staff Cap implemented ad a temporary measure during the Great Recession over a decade ago.
  • Assessment & Accountability Modernization – Efforts to increase the availability and use of growth measures by the Commonwealth were appreciated, but implementation proved unwieldy, the reports unhelpful, and the impact on instructional time far too great.  DOE is encouraged to use the student test identifier (STI) for divisions with commercially available, valid and SOL-aligned growth measures to submit growth data as an alternative to the DOE’s through year growth assessments.

White Papers

The one-page white papers below provide a quick glimpse at select educational priorities, providing a local perspective, allowing you to better understand the impact on your constituents.

Pandemic Relief Funding

For information on how RCPS has used pandemic relief funding download either the Word or PDF version of the files below:

Contact Information

Photo of Dr. Seibert
H. Alan Seibert, Ed.D.

Constituent Services and Government Relations Officer
(540) 853.2007  |  [email protected]

40 Douglass Avenue NW, Roanoke, VA 24012 Phone 540-853-2502