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Cuccinelli Declines To Defend Failing Schools Law

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In Virginia, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says he will not defend one of Governor Bob McDonnell's signature education reform laws in court.

The Virginia School Boards Association and the Norfolk School Board are preparing to challenge the new law allowing the state to take over failing schools. They claim the law usurps local authority granted by the Virginia Constitution.

Cuccinelli says in a letter to the governor that after analyzing the constitutional issues, he has decided his office cannot defend the lawsuit.

The issue has resonated locally—under the provisions of the law, Alexandria's Jefferson-Houston School has been threatened with a state takeover, a move that officials have pledged to fight through new legislation or even by breaking up the school into two parts.

McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin says the administration looks forward to working with outside counsel to defend the law.

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