Our schools should prepare students to get and do the jobs they want, secure admission to the universities they seek to attend, and understand the world around them. They should also help them develop the social skills needed to join a compact with others based on a rule of law compassionately applied.
Accessible and high-quality early childhood education programs, excellent public schools, and dynamic institutions of post-secondary and higher education are essential to these aims.
To support public education, Virginia’s General Assembly should:
- Increase funding for public education at all levels, starting with the expansion of universal early childhood education programs.
- Reform school funding formulas to favor community needs rather than property values.
- Reform testing and standards of quality requirements and give teachers more curriculum control and instructional autonomy.
- Increase teacher pay across the board and reduce class size.
- Reduce state university tuition so that students can once again pay for school with hard work instead of loans.
- Provide seed funding for a Community College system endowment that supports lower tuition costs.
A robust system of public education creates the foundation for participation in democracy, the economy, and the greater global community. All of us should support a school system that prepares everyone to fully realize their individual potential as part of society.