January 28, 2022
Today, several bills heard in the Public Education Subcommittee introduced by Senate Republicans seek to sow division instead of unity. In addition, Governor Youngkin issued a “School Choice” proclamation which will leave most public school students behind.
Majority Leader Dick Saslaw said: “Leaders in the commonwealth must continue to set the example of giving every Virginian a fair shot. Governor Youngkin and Republican legislators are hard at work robbing students of opportunities to thrive in our economy after graduation. Siphoning money away from the schools that most need it is completely contrary to what we as leaders must provide for every student.”
Caucus Chair Mamie Locke said: “Republicans’ proposals are simply imprudent and impractical for today’s students’ needs. Senate Democrats’ focus is always on inclusion, equity, and freedom–not finding ways to exclude, divide, and oppress. Governor Youngkin has spoken many times about working together with all Virginians. But he and Senate Republicans, even in the few short weeks we have been in Richmond, are eager to deny each and every student the chance to lead a full and prosperous life by underfunding schools, invalidating children’s existence, and limiting students’ ability to learn.”
Senate Democrats recommended passing by indefinitely the following bills this afternoon:
- SB20 (Hackworth) and SB766 (Kiggans) – repeals provisions that protect and validate gender identity expression in public schools
- SB570 (Kiggans) – bans instruction that helps students wholly understand Virginia’s complicated history, risking today’s students’ ability to not repeat the mistakes of the past
Governor Glenn Youngkin also issued a “School Choice Proclamation” that would rip funding away from existing public schools, in addition to his proposal to remove localities’ ability to apply grocery taxes to pay for public education.