newsvirginia could pay teachers more youngkin would rather make it easier to be a teacher

Virginia could pay teachers more: Youngkin would rather make it easier to be a teacher

Chris Graham
school classroom teacher
(© Syda Productions –

The Youngkin administration has a nifty idea to address teacher shortages. No, not actually paying teachers more. It seems to be a bipartisan point of pride that we’re in the bottom third nationally in teacher pay.

No, Youngkin’s solution is lowering the licensure standards.

“Our goal is to ensure that every child in the Commonwealth is taught by a qualified teacher,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow, touting the Youngkin administration’s “Become a Teacher” campaign in a press release from the Virginia Department of Education.

The “Become A Teacher” campaign, which is getting a push from $1 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding, includes advertisements on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn highlighting the teaching profession and the difference teachers make in the lives of their students and communities.

The ads direct you to the Become A Teacher campaign website, which features an interactive quiz that connects potential teachers with information about the pathways to licensure.

This is all in line with an executive order that Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed last month spelling out the effort to expedite the issuance of teacher licenses, and to recruit “career switchers, military veterans and other professionals with much to offer students,” with a promise to reduce the dreaded “red tape associated with teacher licensure.”

Which, of course, comes across as, we just need warm adult bodies to hand out worksheets to the kids to keep them busy, and really, anybody will do.

“The Become A Teacher campaign and Turning the Tide reflect extensive research – including interviews with teachers, career-switchers and students enrolled in teacher preparation programs – to identify state-level policies and best practices to strengthen the teacher pipeline and keep teachers in the classroom,” Balow said.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris has won 17 Virginia Press Association awards for his work as an investigative reporter, feature writer and columnist. Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, both published in 2019, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, Want to reach Chris? Try [email protected].

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