Today on a conference call with members of the media, State Sen. Ralph Northam spelled out his plan to strengthen Virginia’s public schools and announced the launch of Educators for Northam. In addition, Northam, the Democratic Party nominee for lieutenant governor, called out his Republican rival E.W. Jackson’s extreme agenda that would shortchange Virginia’s public schools.
The Virginian-Pilot evaluated E.W. Jackson’s plan as, “a policy designed to dismantle funding for public education, and its logical extension would be to provide the same relief to childless taxpayers”
Doctor Northam spelled out his priorities for Virginia’s education system. As Lt. Governor he is committed to expanding access to pre-K for all Virginians, raising teacher pay, making sure our student are prepared for high-paying jobs, and reforming the SOLs. He went on to discuss how devastating E.W. Jackson’s plan to divert money from public school children and give it to homeschoolers would be for the Commonwealth’s public schools.
E.W. Jackson has proposed a constitutional amendment to give equal state funding to public school children and homeschoolers. His plan would mean a $110 million tax hike for Virginia families or the firing of 1,700 teachers and larger class sizes.
“A strong education system is the foundation for economic opportunity across the Commonwealth,” said Senator Ralph Northam. “I am running for Lieutenant Governor because I want Virginia to be the top state for business again, and that starts with supporting our public schools. As a pediatric neurologist, I understand the importance of early childhood brain development and the need to have our kids ready to learn when they enter the classroom on day one.”
Northam added, “Mr. Jackson’s proposal is extreme and would damage Virginia’s public schools. Parents can educate their kids however they want, but it should not be at the expense of public education. My opponent’s plan will cost Virginia families over $110 million in new taxes or force teacher layoffs and larger class sizes, either one is unacceptable. On education and other key issues, there is a stark contrast between Mr. Jackson and I.”
When it comes to doing the right thing for students, and public education, hence our economic future, Virginians can trust Ralph Northam. His opponent, E.W. Jackson has an extreme agenda that will do serious damage to Virginia schools,” said David L. Temple, former Virginia Deputy Secretary of Education.
“Ralph Northam is leading the way on issues like providing early childhood education for all of Virginia’s children. Ralph understands that by investing in our children at an early age, we are preparing them to succeed in school and in the workplace,” said Mrs. Crabtree, an Elementary School Teacher from Northern Virginia.