From the list of signatories at the bottom of this letter…
Virginia’s 400 year history encompasses a rich experience of people from backgrounds and places spanning the globe. The advancement of each generation builds on the ability to access resources of all types, certainly education, in order to add to the cultural tapestry of the Commonwealth. An opportunity exists to address the inequities faced by Black and Latinx students and we call on the Virginia State Senate to act.
This letter is submitted today in support of House Bill 2305, and to call for the reversal of comments made during the debate on that measure that do not reflect the values of the State Senate or Virginia. House Bill 2305, sponsored by Delegate Tyler, would have required the Virginia Board of Education to issue guidance on the governance of academic year Governor’s Schools, including communication and outreach practices, admissions policies, and guidelines on diversity, equity, and inclusion training. The Senate Education Committee voted to “pass by indefinitely” on the bill, a procedural maneuver that all but eliminates its chances in 2021, and blocks it from consideration by other members of the chamber.
The debate over this bill got heated; that is not what we expect of leaders, and it did not resolve nor produce any actionable equity-based solutions.
Remarks made in the committee are indicative of the wider fundamental problem in Virginia’s historic education structures, and divert the important focus of directly addressing unjust systems that do not take into account the inequities our communities face.
We call on the Senate to address the inequities faced by Black and Latinx students by reconsidering HB2305. Divisive racial remarks are on record, as well as votes reflecting an anti-progressive stance, but ultimately it is the policy that matters. We look upon you as elected leaders to pursue equitable policies for all and address them head on.
Paul Berry, Reston
Alice H. Foltz, Centreville VA
Jorge A. Torrico
May Nivar, Midlothian, VA
Suja S. Amir, Henrico County
Angela Chiang, Chesterfield
Eric Lin, Chesterfield
Aida Pacheco, Hanover County
Dr. Emma Violand-Sanchez, Dream Project founder and Board Chair
Gloria Rockhold, Charlottesville, VA
Yanet Limon-Amado, Henrico, VA