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Importance of Education Access

Education is critical in society. We know that of the students falling behind in reading milestones as early as 3rd grade, 74% still struggle in 9th grade.  This reading proficiency is an early indicator of graduation, with children not meeting benchmarks by the end of third grade being 4x more likely to leave school without a diploma. Students with the lowest reading benchmarks account for 1/3 of students overall, they represent over 63% of those who do not go on to graduate high school. The situation becomes even more frightening when you look into the impact of illiteracy on criminalization. In fact, 3 out of 5 people imprisoned in the U.S. are illiterate and 85 % of juvenile offenders have reading difficulties. When we talk about working to end the school-to-prison pipeline and addressing the gun violence epidemic we are facing, education has to have a place in every discussion. Our students have to hit their benchmarks, meaning schools and families need more access to and funding for resources.

Vision

  • Increased state investment in broadband to allow Virginian students to safely participate in virtual school classes
  • Universal pre-K
  • Eliminate high-stakes testing
  • Support anti-racist work through curriculum, professional development, and education programming
  • Support in planning for adequate funding for K-12 school construction and renovation
  • Increased funding for Special Education services for K-12 schools
  • Increased funding for trade schools to supplement traditional high school
  • Increased state and federal investment for technology needs and internet access for virtual learning
  • Increased financial support for educators to include  higher wages and personal spending funds for classroom supplies
  • Immediate mental health access for teachers
  • Free state and community college; free trade school
  • Invest in programs such as on-site community gardens, the arts, music, and culinary