In 2021, Virginia ranked dead last in the country for competitive teacher pay. Our public school teachers made 33% less than comparable college grads. Little wonder there were 3,300 vacant positions statewide when school started last fall. We need to invest in recruiting and retaining the top-notch educators every student deserves.
Our teachers are hardly the only staff feeling stretched too thin. After the Great Recession, the General Assembly capped state funding for critical support staff — a cap that continues to this day and forces local governments to pick up the tab with the personal property taxes that hit working families hardest.
Virginia has underinvested in school renovations for a generation, leaving too many students in outdated and overcrowded classrooms. Richmond needs to pick up its fair share of school modernization and grant local governments the flexibility they need to raise revenue for renovations.
Teachers and students alike want more rigorous, meaningful assessments that reward critical thinking and practical skills. Virginia's testing reform plans have stalled during Governor Youngkin's administration, and we need to get back on track.
Every student in every school division needs flexible access to hands-on learning and apprenticeship opportunities so they can leave high school career or college-ready as they wish. I'm proud to be the only candidate in this race endorsed by our local trade unions because they know I'm a committed partner in helping student train for modern technical careers.
Read more of my education work: