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McClellan releases plan to ensure every Virginia student has access to quality K-12 education

Jennifer McClellan
Jennifer McClellan

State Sen. Jennifer McClellan announced Thursday the details of her K-12 Equitable Education and Investment Plan, calling for a historic $2.3 billion-per-year investment in schools and critical equity policies to ensure every student has equal access to a high quality public education in the Commonwealth.

McClellan’s plan would mark the largest investment in education in the history of Virginia.

McClellan, a candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for governor, also announced “Educators for McClellan” with 21 education leaders from across Virginia endorsing her campaign for governor, including two former presidents of the Virginia Education Association, the former president of the Arlington Education Association, the former president of the Richmond Education Association, the 2019 National Teacher of the Year, and a former Virginia Secretary of Education and Deputy Secretary of Education.

McClellan is a five-time recipient of the VEA’s Legislative Champion Award.

This marks the second of three education policies for McClellan, adding on to her landmark Universal Child Care and Early Childhood Plan. McClellan’s K-12 policy incorporates recommendations of education experts including teachers, staff, and the Virginia Department of Education to fund the necessary, equitable measures so that every Virginia student can receive a high-quality public education.

Over the past 15 years, McClellan has been a legislative leader in the fight to increase funding for our schools, raise teacher salaries, and level the playing field between school districts. Over the past four years, McClellan introduced a combination of legislation and budget amendments to fully fund the Virginia Standards of Quality and to lift the school support cap.

McClellan carried sweeping legislation to lower student-to-teacher ratios, provide more funding to support higher needs students, and address funding inequities between districts She also proposed increasing education funding by $480 million to give teachers a 5 percent raise.

This year, McClellan passed a bill to invest an additional $50 million per year into Virginia schools by implementing some of the Virginia Board of Education’s Standards of Quality recommendations for increased school support staffing.

Details

McClellan’s K-12 “Equitable Education and Investment Plan” will:

  • Invest approximately $2.3 billion in new dollars annually into Virginia’s K-12 education system
  • Create an Equity Accountability Program to address educational inequities by:
    • Adding a new Director of Inclusion and Diversity under the Secretariat of Education
    • Establishing a new task force to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline
    • Requiring all school districts to set concrete policies to address racism and bias
  • Fully implement and fund the Board of Education’s Standards of Quality.
  • Providing an additional $350 million to finish lifting the funding cap on school support staff, ensuring a ratio of no more than 250 students per support staff.
  • Create a sustainable and dedicated fund to provide localities with resources to build, renovate, and modernize school infrastructure.
  • Reform the Local Composite Index, updating the funding model to accurately calculate the true needs of school divisions
  • Build and sustain a robust, diverse teacher workforce by
    • Updating preparation and licensure programs
    • Increasing teacher salaries to be nationally competitive, averaging $65,000
    • Supporting educators’ work through targeted investments
  • Update the profile of a 21st Century Graduate to align early childhood education through 12th grade, and to strengthen assessments to ensuring that students have the life and career skills and competencies they need to succeed
  • Make Virginia a national leader in solar schools by accelerating the development of solar energy so that schools produce 7 times as much solar energy in 2025 as they do today.
  • Address long-standing inequities in special education
  • Empower local school divisions to determine when to start and end the school year.

augusta free press news
augusta free press news


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