Home 2021 Elections VA State Senator and 2021 Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Jennifer McClellan Announces “K-12...

VA State Senator and 2021 Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Jennifer McClellan Announces “K-12 Equitable Education & Investment Plan”

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See below for State Senator and 2021 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jennifer McClellan’s “K-12 Equitable Education & Investment Plan.”  According to the summary, the plan would do the following:

a. Invest approximately $2.3 billion in new dollars annually into Virginia’s K-12 education system.
b. Create an Equity Accountability Program to address educational inequities, including a new Director of Inclusion & Diversity under the Secretariat of Education, establish a new School-to-Prison Pipeline Task Force, and require all school districts to set concrete policies to address racism and bias.
c. Bring much-needed reform to the Local Composite Index, updating the funding model to accurately calculate the true needs of school divisions.
d. Increase teacher salaries to an average of $65,000 in order to remain nationally competitive and retain the best teachers, and do right by the Commonwealth’s educators.
e. Fully implement and fund the Board of Education’s Standards of Quality.
f. Finish the work of lifting the funding cap on school support staff, providing $350 million to ensure a ratio of no more than 250 students per 1 school social worker, school psychologist, school nurse, licensed behavior analyst, licensed assistant behavior analyst, other licensed health and behavioral positions, assistant principals, and custodial staff.
g. Update the profile of a 21st Century Graduate and strengthen assessments to align early childhood education through 12th grade, ensuring that students have the life and work-ready skills and competencies they need to succeed in the 21st century.
h. Address long-standing inequities in the special education program.
i. Empower local school divisions to determine when to start and end the school year.
j. Modernize out-of-date teacher preparation programs and licensure and build and sustain a robust, diverse teacher workforce.
k. Create a sustainable and dedicated fund to address school infrastructure issues, while accelerating the deployment of solar power to school districts that are implementing renewable energy programs

Good stuff.

NEW PLAN: McClellan Calls for Largest Public Education Investment in Virginia History, Announces New ‘Educators for McClellan’ Endorsements

Comprehensive K-12 policy plan to ensure every Virginia student has access to high-quality public education; 2nd part of 3-part McClellan education plan

Campaign announces new education endorsements as part of ‘Educators for McClellan’

RICHMOND – Today, candidate for governor Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) announced her K-12 Equitable Education and Investment Plan, calling for a historic $2.3 billion-per-year investment in schools and critical equity policies to ensure every student has equal access to a high quality public education in the Commonwealth. McClellan’s plan would mark the largest investment in education in the history of Virginia.

McClellan also announced “Educators for McClellan” with 21 education leaders from across Virginia endorsing her campaign for governor, including two former Presidents of the Virginia Education Association, the former President of the Arlington Education Association, the former President of the Richmond Education Association, the 2019 National Teacher of the Year, and a former Virginia Secretary of Education and Deputy Secretary of Education. McClellan is a five-time recipient of the VEA’s “Legislative Champion” Award. 

This marks the second of three education policies for McClellan, adding on to her landmark Universal Child Care and Early Childhood Plan. McClellan’s K-12 policy incorporates recommendations of education experts including teachers, staff, and the Virginia Department of Education to fund the necessary, equitable measures so that every Virginia student can receive a high-quality public education. 

As the daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter of educators, McClellan was taught from a young age that a high quality public education would be the key to economic opportunity. Raising two children in Richmond Public Schools herself, McClellan knows firsthand how education is critical to healthy communities, a robust economy, and a thriving democracy.

Over the past 15 years, McClellan has been a legislative leader in the fight to increase funding for our schools, raise teacher salaries, and level the playing field between school districts. Over the past four years, McClellan introduced a combination of legislation and budget amendments to fully fund the Virginia Standards of Quality and to lift the school support cap. McClellan carried sweeping legislation to lower student-to-teacher ratios, provide more funding to support higher needs students, and address funding inequities between districts She also proposed increasing education funding by $480 million to give teachers a 5% raise. This year, McClellan passed a bill to invest an additional $50 million per year into Virginia schools by implementing some of the Virginia Board of Education’s Standards of Quality recommendations for increased school support staffing.

McClellan’s K-12 “Equitable Education and Investment Plan” will: 

  • Invest approximately $2.3 billion in new dollars annually into Virginia’s K-12 education system
  • Create an Equity Accountability Program to address educational inequities by:
    • Adding a new Director of Inclusion and Diversity under the Secretariat of Education
    • Establishing a new task force to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline
    • Requiring all school districts to set concrete policies to address racism and bias
  • Fully implement and fund the Board of Education’s Standards of Quality.
  • Providing an additional $350 million to finish lifting the funding cap on school support staff, ensuring a ratio of no more than 250 students per support staff.
  • Create a sustainable and dedicated fund to provide localities with resources to build, renovate, and modernize school infrastructure. 
  • Reform the Local Composite Index, updating the funding model to accurately calculate the true needs of school divisions
  • Build and sustain a robust, diverse teacher workforce by 
    • Updating preparation and licensure programs
    • Increasing teacher salaries to be nationally competitive, averaging $65,000
    • Supporting educators’ work through targeted investments
  • Update the profile of a 21st Century Graduate to align early childhood education through 12th grade, and to strengthen assessments to ensuring that students have the life and career skills and competencies they need to succeed 
  • Make Virginia a national leader in solar schools by accelerating the development of solar energy so that schools produce 7 times as much solar energy in 2025 as they do today.
  • Address long-standing inequities in special education
  • Empower local school divisions to determine when to start and end the school year.

READ: Sen. McClellan’s K-12 Equitable Education and Investment Plan

“Today, I am proposing a new plan that will ensure a high-quality, equitable public education for every student in Virginia, regardless of their zip code or family’s income,” Sen. McClellan said. “For generations, underfunding in our K-12 education system has caused lasting disparities in academics and achievement, leaving too many students — especially Black, brown, and low-income students — behind because they weren’t born in the right zipcode. It’s time for Virginia to end decades of underfunded schools – and that will be my top priority as governor.

“The K-12 Equitable Education and Investment Plan will guarantee every student access to a high-quality, public education. Fully funding Virginia schools is a critical investment in our children, teachers, economy, and future as a Commonwealth.”

The new “Educators for McClellan” group includes the following members. (New endorsers of McClellan are highlighted in bold):

  • The Hon. Karen Darner, former Virginia Delegate (D-Arlington) and past President of the Arlington Education Association
  • Former Virginia Education Association President and educator Dr. Kitty Boitnott
  • Former Virginia Education Association President Megan Gruber
  • A. Ramon Moore, school counselor and former Richmond Education Association President 
  • Javaid Siddiqi, former Virginia Secretary of Education and former Chesterfield County School Board Chair
  • Former Virginia Assistant Secretary of Education Douglas Garcia
  • 2019 National Teacher of the Year Rodney Robinson
  • Jacinta Greene, Alexandria School Board member
  • Atoosa Reaser, Loudoun School Board Vice Chair
  • Former Falls Church School Board Member Lawrence Webb
  • Virginia Beach teacher Christine McNulty
  • Virginia Beach teacher Jennifer Eason
  • Richmond teacher Kerri Treadway
  • Thomasine Lawrence, retired Richmond Public Schools educator
  • Wilbert Lawrence, Jr., retired Richmond Public Schools educator
  • Dr. Doris Mallory Bey, retired Richmond Public Schools administrator
  • Deanna Fierro, Education advocate from Richmond
  • Antionette Rogers, Education leader from Richmond
  • Katina Harris, Richmond Public Schools Educator and Parent
  • Brandi Harrin, Richmond Educator
  • Holly Jackson Conrad, Retired Richmond Educator

“We need a Governor who has the perspective to tackle the long-lasting inequities in the public education system head-on and the experience to deliver on their word,” said Dr. Kitty Boitnott, former VEA President, who announced her endorsement of McClellan. “Jenn McClellan’s K-12 Equitable Education and Investment Plan is exactly what our commonwealth needs to rebuild our education system so that every student receives a high-quality public education, no matter their zipcode.”

“As Vice-Chair of the Loudoun County School Board and a working parent, I’m proud to support a fierce advocate for Virginia education, Senator Jenn McClellan,” said Atoosa Reaser. “After the challenges our students, teachers, and parents have had to face over the past year, we need a Governor who understands what K-12 schools have been through and who knows how to follow through on their word. Jenn’s K-12 Equitable Education and Investment Plan is the historic investment and commitment to equity and justice our schools have needed for far too long.”

“Jennifer McClellan gets public education,” said Virginia Beach teacher Christine McNulty. “As a woman raised by generations of educators, as a mother, and as a state senator who has visited numerous public school classrooms and supported good public education legislation, she gets it. She understands that education is more than teacher and student, it’s family. It’s counselors and social workers. It’s community. With Jennifer McClellan as our next governor, I know that public schools will be in the forefront of her decision making. She is who Virginia educators need. That’s why I’m supporting Jennifer McClellan for governor.”

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