See below for a press release from We the People for Education, “a non-partisan 501c4 focused on supporting and empowering pro-public education leadership in all of Virginia’s communities” and which “support[s] school board candidates and community groups in every corner of the Commonwealth who share our values of a strong public education system enriched by strong communities and local leadership.” Among the members of this organization are former Virginia Secretary of Education Anne Holton, former Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni, 2021 Virginia Teacher of the Year Anthony Swann, VEA President Dr. James J. Fedderman, Former First Lady of Virginia Pam Northam, Virginia Board of Education President Dan Gecker, etc. Very impressive, and much needed given Youngkin’s relentless war against public education!
NEW ORGANIZATION LAUNCHED TO SUPPORT SCHOOL BOARDS
We the People for Education aims to support governance-focused candidates, and amplify responsible advocacy in our public schools.
[Richmond, Virginia, March 2023] We the People for Education, a Virginia-based public education advocacy organization, officially launched this week. Working with parents and teachers, We the People for Education supports local school board candidates who are focused on good governance, effective education policies and financial stewardship, and most importantly positive student outcomes versus political agendas and divisiveness.
“We all want our children to be safe, have access to the best educational opportunities, and thrive academically, mentally, and socially.” said Sarah Gross, President of We the People for Education, “As the former Virginia PTA (Parent Teacher Association) President, I’ve seen first hand how important it is for local leaders to work productively with parents and educators in order for those things to happen for our kids. However, over the last couple of years we have witnessed extremism and hateful rhetoric take over our school board meetings, sow disinformation in our communities, and work to divide us. This organization is working to reclaim our classrooms and put the focus back on our kids.”
The work of this organization starts with electing and supporting school board members who value our students, teachers, and families, and who reject extremism that threatens the freedom of our students to learn and thrive. We the People for Education aims to bring families to the table: empowering our communities and parents to work productively towards a collective vision and values. The organization is proud to be partnering with leaders across the Commonwealth in support of this vision.
“We are excited to have founding partners that reflect every corner of the Commonwealth, and include education advocates who believe in the power of our schools, students, and teachers,” said Advisory Board member and former Virginia Secretary of Education Anne Holton. “With our growing list of supporters and education champions, We the People for Education is ready to engage positively with our school boards and families to enact the change our students deserve.”
Sarah Gross, President
Anthony Fragale, Secretary
Joan Huffer, Treasurer
Founding Advisory Board, in formation:
Mary Biggs, Montgomery County Board of Supervisors
Karen Corbett Sanders, Fairfax County School Board
Dr. James J. Fedderman, VEA President
Kathryn Haines, Chesterfield County School Board Member
Holly Hazard, 4 Public Education President
Anne Holton, Former Secretary of Education
Rob Krupicka, Former Virginia Delegate
Nancy + Joe Kunkel
Pam Northam, Former First Lady of Virginia
Atif Qarni, Former Secretary of Education
Anthony Swann, 2021 Virginia Teacher of the Year
Mary Lynn Tate
[About We the People for Education] We the People for Education is a Virginia-based and Virginia-focused 501c4 organization focused on School Board elections, advocacy, accountability, and governance. By empowering reasonable community members to support public education and push back against divisiveness and extremism, we aim to solve the real issues facing our classrooms: resource disparities, teacher shortages, and student safety and mental health.