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Finally, voters to get say on school board

The long-debated question of whether Prince Edward County’s school board should be elected instead of appointed will finally be answered in November.

Appropriately, the voters of Prince Edward will make the call.

Give credit to some hard-working volunteers for succeeding where prior ballot efforts have failed. Support Prince Edward Schools, a grassroots network of parents and other interested citizens, beat the bushes and secured petition signatures well in excess of the 10 percent of registered voters required to force a referendum.

The community now has three months to consider a critically important question: Can voters, by direct election, pick a school board that’s better qualified to oversee public education than what the board of supervisors can assemble by appointment?

We’ll use this space in the weeks and months ahead to share some thoughts on the question. There’s no simple answer, but the debate will be healthy in a community that deserves first-rate leadership for its public schools.