Could a School-Board Fight Over Critical Race Theory Help Turn Virginia Red?

LEESBURG, Va.—Before Covid-19 forced its students into online classes, Loudoun County’s bimonthly school board meetings were often dry exercises in bureaucratic wrangling: Haggling over AP textbook availability and public construction projects. Poring over budget proposals for custodial supplies and debating about whether to renew the contract for a company supplying milk to cafeterias.

Only a handful of parents showed up on a regular basis, says Julie Garrett, a mother of two school-aged children in the school district. Some, like Garrett, one of the growing numbers of liberal parents in the wealthy Northern Virginia exurb, were committed to helping the district work to overcome its segregationist past.