Politics

Youngkin Close To Taking Virginia

We'll know soon.

Image Credit: Youtube Screenshot

Republican Glenn Youngkin makes a final pitch on the decisive issue in his race for Virginia governor.

 

Youngkin: The most basic obligation of any Virginia school is to provide all children a high-quality education. Today, Virginia finds itself at a defining moment – one that will not only impact current students but will forever shape the environment in which future generations of children will learn and thrive.

One thing that we all now understand is that the learning loss during the pandemic was substantial. Virginia’s excessive and extended school closures ravaged student advancement and well-being. New SOL data from the Virginia Department of Education demonstrates just how devastating these school closures were.

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Assessment comparisons with the 2018-2019 school year show overall achievement in math down 34% for third graders, 42% for seventh grade and 44% for eighth graders. More shocking, fewer than half of Black children in the third grade and barely half of Black children in the sixth grade passed reading assessments. Similar drop-off levels for students with disabilities are evident, with math scores plummeting 24 points or a 40% decrease.

What we now know is that Virginia’s schools must never again be closed. Virginians also understand that to have exceptional education systems, standards matter. Starting during the McAuliffe administration and under Democrat-appointed Board of Education activists, school accreditation standards across the commonwealth were watered down so badly that the 88 schools that previously failed accreditation efforts actually passed. Today, Virginia is the ONLY state with eighth-grade reading expectations below the national bare minimum, rated as “below basic.” Further, only a third of Virginia’s eighth-grade students can meet national reading standards.

Virginia is also up against years of neglect of facilities and low teacher compensation. Unbelievably in a year of pandemic shutdowns, Virginians were overtaxed, resulting in a $2.6 billion surplus. Not only should the tax burden be lowered but current spending must be increased for crumbling schools, teacher pay raises and investment in special education.

Further, every student deserves the opportunity to get an education that prepares them for college or a career right out of high school. Parent empowerment around choice is simply paramount. Today, Virginia has eight charter schools when neighboring states have hundreds. My Day One Game Plan calls for the immediate formation of 20 Innovation Charter Schools within the public school system…

Virginians are unifying around a vision of better schools, safer streets, lower cost of living, and more good-paying jobs. It’s time to reinvigorate, restart, and build a new day for Virginia, where we soar and never settle. A new day where all Virginians can achieve the great Virginia promise. So, let’s rise above the rhetoric, rise above the division, and enable the dreams and pursuits of the next generation by securing safety and excellence in our schools. And I won’t rest until it is done.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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Doppelgänger
Doppelgänger
9 months ago

Youngkin will get the most votes but in this environment that doesn’t mean he will become governor.

If the race is anywhere near close, Democrats will steal it. They might even steal it no matter what what the vote margin happens to be.

Youngkin needs to win by a very decisive margin if he wants to be governor.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
9 months ago

He WON VA