|MCLEAN, VA – Terry McAuliffe today released a new video, “New Virginia Way,” spotlighting his bold plan to address inequities in education and make the biggest, boldest investment in education in Virginia history. The video features footage from Terry’s campaign launch in December where he announced his plan to make an unprecedented $2 billion annual investment in education. As governor, Terry will expand preschool to every 3 and 4-year old child in need, get every Virginia student online, and raise teacher pay above the national average for the first time in Virginia history.
In the video, Terry McAuliffe says: “Today, I’m releasing my education plan. And we are going to make the biggest, boldest investment in education in Virginia history. With a $2 billion a year investment, we are going to ensure that every single student in Virginia is online, we are going to ensure that every 3 and 4-year old child at risk gets preschool education, and finally address the inequities that we have in our schools. And I promise you that, over the next four years, we are going to raise teacher pay so they are above the national average for the first time in the history of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Even though the Republicans left me a record deficit when I took office in 2014, I proudly fought them and secured a record $1 billion in additional education funding. We got it done then and, folks, we’ll do it again. Thinking big and being bold is the only way we are going to move Virginia forward. It’s the New Virginia Way.”
This video comes one week after Terry for Virginia launched its first online video ad of the 2021 cycle, “All In,” featuring Richmond Public Schools educator Dr. Milondra Coleman speaking about her support for Terry’s bold education plan. In the ad, Dr. Coleman, a history teacher at John Marshall High School and the former President of the Richmond Education Association, outlines why she is “all in” for Terry and his plan to make the biggest, boldest investment in education in Virginia history.
Said Dr. Coleman: “Two of the things I’m really excited about: one is the fact that [Terry] is going to increase teacher salaries. The fact that we are 50th in the country, out of 50 states, that’s just unacceptable. We are going to exceed the national average as far as teacher salaries are concerned. And I don’t know any educator who won’t be excited about that. The second piece is that we are going to see schools fully funded. So if you are concerned about improving education? I gotta tell you, Terry McAuliffe is the man with the plan. He’s the man who can get the job done. I’m all for it. I’m all in.”
Despite being the 10th wealthiest state in the nation, Virginia’s education system has been chronically underfunded and plagued by inequities. The Commonwealth ranks 50th out of 50 states when average teacher pay is compared with average pay, and teachers in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Delaware currently earn $10,000 – $20,000 more per year more than teachers in Virginia. Terry will right this wrong and increase teacher pay above the national average within four years for the first time in Virginia history.
These videos highlight Terry’s big focus on education as one of the most critical issues facing the next governor. As governor, Terry will also help cultivate the next generation of highly qualified, diverse educators and address the current teacher shortage in the Commonwealth. In December, Terry named an initiative in his education plan after influential Harrisonburg educator Lucy Simms. The Lucy Simms Educator Program would cover tuition at a Virginia public university or Historically Black College and University (HBCU) for qualifying students who commit to five years of teaching in a high-demand field in Virginia public schools.
Since launching his campaign, Terry has released big, bold plans to strengthen Virginia’s education system and dramatically increase teacher pay, secure Virginia’s economic recovery from COVID-19, ensure Virginians have access to regular nutritious meals, address the broken, predatory system of prescription drug pricing, and boldly confront the gun violence epidemic in the Commonwealth. As governor, Terry will take bold and decisive action to create jobs, protect workers, invest in mental health services, and rebuild Virginia’s thriving network of small businesses, particularly Black and Brown-owned businesses.