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Where's Youngkin?

Virginia’s Governor has declared war on public education with a sleight of hand. While touting himself as the “education” governor, he’s strategically whittling away at parents’ confidence in our education system through a “tip line”, the lie about a lack of “parent’s rights”, humiliating LGBTQ+ students and banning books, and even appointing a charter school leader as chair of our state board of education. He’s ignored the clarion call of the recent study from our legislature that our schools are on life support financially and need strong decisive leadership ­­and an infusion of funds. And the funds are there.

According to JLARC, the entity charged with non-partisan research for the General Assembly “Virginia school divisions receive less K–12 funding per student than the 50-state average, the regional average, and three of Virginia’s five bordering states. School divisions in other states receive 14 percent more per student than school divisions in Virginia, on average, after normalizing for differences in cost of labor among states. This equates to about $1,900 more per student than Virginia.”

This would be just a sad story if we were in the midst of a recession or, perhaps, a pandemic. But we’re not. In fact, the Governor just boasted about the staggering $5.1 billion excess in funds in our state budget. And this is after he gave away $4 billion in tax cuts the year before.

This should be any politician’s dream­­‑‑an intractable problem with broad public support, a windfall of cash with which to solve the problem and a roadmap of exactly what needs to be fixed. So where is Glenn Youngkin?

Our so-called “education” Governor is cavorting around the world from Asia to France, and sloughing off questions about his future professional aspirations. He wants to give more money to the wealthy and ignore the pleas of our schools with infrastructure crumbling, teachers fleeing and at-risk children afraid to attend.

While we can’t do anything about the Governor this year, we can address this challenge at the local level. Every single neighborhood in Virginia has a school board race this year. And never has the choice been more clear. We have many strong, competent, committed advocates running to represent you and your children. We also have an unprecedented number of anti-public school, anti-LGBTQ+, anti book, anti-history advocates dressed up as “parent’s rights” advocates who have infected these races.

Now is the moment for anyone who believes in a quality education for every child to do four things:

  1. Find out who is running for school board in your neighborhood and make your choice. Ask each candidate if they support public education for all, teaching truth in history, letting librarians run our libraries, and fully funding public education.

  2. Talk with 5 neighbors about the race (and how they can vote early and vote by mail.)

  3. Volunteer just 3 hours for a candidate, either by canvassing or phonebanking. Remember, these candidates get very little help from either Party and they are the most vulnerable to voter confusion at the ballot box.

  4. Donate. Even $10 will make a difference.

If ever one vote made a difference, it will certainly be this fall.

Help 4 Public Education help Virginia. Talk with your neighbors and vote.


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