Fact Versus Fiction: Senate Democrats Lay Out the Truth on Public Education in Virginia

May 26, 2022

Today, the Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus released a report laying out the myths and truths about education in the Commonwealth.

Majority Leader and Finance K-12 Education Subcommittee Chair Dick Saslaw said: “Senate Democrats have consistently advocated for increased funding for Virginia’s public schools–because we believe in putting our money where our mouth is, particularly when it comes to the next generation of Virginians. That’s why in the Senate budget introduced earlier this year, we proposed record public school funding including pay raises for teachers and money for education infrastructure modernization.”

Caucus Chair Mamie Locke said: “For centuries, non-white children have been sidelined when it comes to receiving a quality education. From the enduring legacy of redlining and historically underfunded school divisions to the current attempts to whitewash school curricula, the issue of race and identity has always created a battleground out of our public schools. Senate Democrats have worked to address these disparities through educator cultural competency training, ending the school to prison pipeline, and promoting empathy and understanding amongst Virginia’s students. Our dedication to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will remain steadfast–especially with Governor Youngkin and his fellow Republicans choosing to fight ignorance with more ignorance.”

President Pro Tempore and Education & Health Committee Chair Louise Lucas said: “The Senate Democrats’ vision for the future of public education in Virginia is clear based on legislation we have introduced. We prioritize every student’s success by paying our teachers more, renovating dilapidated education infrastructure, ensuring safety in our schools, promoting fairness and equity, and expanding state-funded support positions so individualized learning can be a reality for all children. We are dedicated to Virginia’s future, even if Governor Youngkin is not, and will remain a brick wall against any attempts to dismantle the world-class education system Virginia boasts.”

K-12 Education Subcommittee Chair Ghazala Hashmi said: “The backbone of education is our teachers. Throughout the pandemic, our educators have been doing more with less–with the added expectations of remote learning, navigating evolving expectations about an increasingly complex world, and maintaining safe and productive spaces for our children to learn. Senate Democrats have worked to ensure we can recruit and retain the best teachers through increased salaries and bonuses, and have expanded teacher licensure regulations to help address the shortage of teachers we are seeing in Virginia and nationwide. If our students are to compete in the economy of the future, we have to support the people who support them.”

Senator Jennifer McClellan said: “As a mom of two Richmond Public Schools students, I am deeply appreciative of the hard work that Virginia teachers, support staff and administrators put in every day to help our children. They don’t need cherry-picked statistics from the Governor–they need a real commitment to undo decades of underfunding Virginia’s K-12 public schools. Children cannot learn in schools that are falling down, don’t have air conditioning, or are riddled with mold or asbestos. And we cannot fix our youth mental health crisis without investing in more counselors and support staff. Governor Youngkin is looking at the symptoms instead of the cause: Virginia’s education challenges have nothing to do with teaching about equity, and everything to do with underfunding. It’s time for Governor Youngkin to lead the charge and fix that.”


2022 Legislation


Killed by the House of Delegates:

Waiting on budget action:

2021 Enacted Legislation

2020 Enacted Legislation