Augusta Free Press

Northam issues K-12 education policy plan

Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam today unveiled his policy plan to bolster Virginia’s public education and strengthen opportunities for all of Virginia’s children.

Northam, who has served as assistant professor of neurology at Eastern Virginia Medical School where he taught medicine and ethics, pledged to address the challenges facing Virginia’s public education by investing in our students and providing our schools and teachers with the resources they need to provide a first-class education to every child.

“Quality public education is the cornerstone of a successful society,” said Northam, the Democratic Party nominee for governor. “We all want our children to have the chance at a promising future, and the way to do that is by supporting our schools and teachers with the resources they need to do their jobs to the best of their ability. I’ll fight to make sure that all of Virginia’s children have a chance at the future they deserve.”

Northam, as lieutenant governor, cast tie-breaking votes to protect Virginia’s public education from being raided with unconstitutional private school vouchers and to keep decisions about public charter schools in the hands of local school boards. He helped secure increased state investments in home visiting programs for vulnerable families and children and increased per pupil funding for the Virginia Preschool Initiative, the state’s public preschool program for at-risk students. He also introduced legislation to find a dedicated revenue stream for paying Virginia’s educators and to raise teacher salaries.

“Ed Gillespie and Betsy DeVos are pushing an education agenda that ignores civil rights protections for students and leaves them vulnerable to widespread discrimination,” said Princess Moss, Secretary-Treasurer of the National Education Association. “Gillespie is going to be front and center in rubber-stamping Betsy DeVos’ agenda to carry this out, and that will be harmful to Virginia students. Ralph Northam is the candidate who will work to make sure that every student and parent has the opportunity and support that they need to succeed. Ralph Northam is a friend of public education.”

As governor, Northam plans to bolster Virginia’s education system through strategies including:

Champion Strong Teachers and Leaders

Modernize SOL Testing

Focus on Equity and Opportunity for All

Build Streamlined Pathways into the Workforce

Equipping Students with High Tech Skills

Create a State Education Foundation

Maximize Investments in Early Childhood Education

Leverage State Resources to Support the Whole Child

Support Rigorous State Accountability


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