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Teachers shouldn’t have to have second jobs: Rasoul plan boosts teacher pay

Roanoke Del. Sam Rasoul makes it a point to substitute teach at schools in his House district to be able to learn more about the inner workings of the K-12 school system.

Rasoul, now running for the Democratic Party nomination for lieutenant governor, made headlines last year when a teacher he had met at one of the schools he had subbed at delivered his pizza.

“Teachers across Virginia are picking up second jobs or making the difficult decision to leave the profession because, quite frankly, they are not being treated like the professionals that they are in terms of pay, workplace conditions, or the right to represent themselves,” said Rasoul, who last week rolled out his plan to increase teacher pay and collective bargaining rights, invest in schools’ capital needs, and move away from high-stakes testing and toward social and emotional development.

sam rasoul
Sam Rasoul

“Having served as a substitute teacher myself, I’ve caught a glimpse of the mental health challenges teachers and students face. We need less high-stakes testing and a greater focus on holistic development that addresses a child’s social and emotional needs, as well,” Rasoul said.

The plan released last week builds on Rasoul’s experience on the Education Committee in the General Assembly, and his legislation to incorporate social and emotional learning guidelines and to establish community schools.

The plan

  • Collective bargaining rights for teachers and higher pay
  • Empowering local governments to raise funds for capital investments
  • Achieving the Gold Standard counselor-to-student ratio
  • Reforming university Boards of Visitors to include students, faculty, staff and community residents as voting members
  • Fully funding the incorporation of social and emotional learning into school curriculums
  • Universal early childhood care and affordable, accessible after school care through a Marshall Plan for Moms
  • Shutting down the school-to-prison pipeline by creating firm guidelines that direct disciplinary action to counselors, mental health workers and restorative justice practices

Read the full plan on Rasoul’s website.

augusta free press news
augusta free press news