Which Candidate Will Stand Up for Students?

The VEA endorses Terry McAuliffe for governor. But don’t take our word for it: McAuliffe’s record speaks for itself.

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Terry McAuliffe
Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D)

As Virginia’s 72nd Governor, Terry McAuliffe invested a record $1 billion in Virginia’s K-12 system, focused on workforce readiness, and eliminated five Standards of Learning tests.

On the Issues

  • Knows that better pay attracts the best educators. Terry understands that to attract and retain the best educators, we must address recruitment, pay, and retention head on. The average teacher salary in Virginia is $6,500 below the national average. His plan will raise salaries above the national average within four years for the first time in Virginia’s history.

    Source: terrymcauliffe.com, accessed 7/1/21.

  • Committed to job creation. As former Governor, Terry created 200,000 good-paying jobs, raised personal income by 14%, and reduced unemployment to 3.3%. As Governor, Terry will work to keep Virginians safely back at work and in schools, rebuild our thriving network of small businesses, and support our workforce with access to paid sick days, COVID-19 vaccines, affordable childcare and hazard pay. He will accelerate the path to a $15-an-hour minimum wage, and bolster career pathways through training and investments in diverse educational and career programs.

    Source: terrymcauliffe.com, accessed 7/1/21.

  • Supports educators and unions. Terry believes we must adopt and fully fund the Virginia Board of Education’s 2019 prescribed Standards of Quality to address staffing needs and other critical issues facing our schools. The new SOQs include new ratios for school counselors and support positions, establishment of a teacher leader program, resources to directly support students, and a new equity fund to serve students in poverty.

    Source: terrymcauliffe.com, accessed 7/1/21.

  • Will work to level the playing field for all children. The COVID-19 pandemic has only further exacerbated educational disparities, with 44% of Virginia students arriving in Kindergarten without the skills they need in one or more critical areas. Rooting out and eliminating these racial, economic, and geographic disparities is critical to the economic vitality of the Commonwealth. Terry will work to expand the Virginia preschool initiative, expanding access to federal child nutrition programs, and creating equitable access to education in rural communities through affordable, universal broadband access and expanding opportunities to high-demand jobs.

    Source: terrymcauliffe.com, accessed 7/1/21.

  • Supports labor unions. Terry recognizes that the ability to collectively bargain gives employees a stronger voice and a seat at the table. As former Governor, he fought to protect labor organizations, and supported increased wages for educators and state employees. As our next governor, Terry will strengthen Virginia’s collective bargaining law.

    Source: terrymcauliffe.com, accessed 7/1/21.

  • Sees health care and affordable housing as key to recovery. Virginia has seen more than 700,000 COVID-19 cases and far too many deaths. Unemployment during the pandemic has hit working families the hardest, and moving forward we must support our workforce and strengthen access to basic needs like health care and housing. Terry’s plan will rebuild our thriving network of small businesses and continue to build capacity for COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and vaccine dissemination.

    Source: terrymcauliffe.com, accessed 7/1/21.

  • Supports student loan forgiveness. Building and sustaining a high-quality, diverse workforce of educators in Virginia means getting more young people into the teacher-training pipeline. Terry’s education plan includes mentorship programs to support educator retention and student loan forgiveness after working in underserved communities. His vision includes establishing clear, streamlined career certificate programs for future educators in Virginia, and ensuring those who want the skills and credentials have that opportunity.

    Source: terrymcauliffe.com, accessed 7/1/21.

  • Has a plan to offer affordable insurance for all. As Virginia’s next Governor, Terry will fight to make sure all Virginians have access to quality, affordable health care coverage and that no Virginian is forced to choose between medicine or a meal. The work ahead includes a state reinsurance program to lower premiums and increase assistance for Virginians, combat maternal mortality rates, lower prescription drug costs, and increase funding for mental health treatment.

    Source: terrymcauliffe.com, accessed 7/1/21.

  • Will invest in broadband and school infrastructure. As Virginia’s 72nd Governor, Terry prioritized rural economic development and helped grow exports of agricultural and forestry products to over $3 billion for the first time in Virginia’s history. He created jobs and saw unemployment in most rural communities cut by nearly 50%. He plans to deliver universal broadband coverage by the end of his term, and wants to invest in crumbling school infrastructure, and increase access to educational opportunities.

    Source: terrymcauliffe.com, accessed 7/1/21.

Glenn Youngkin
Glenn Youngkin (R)

Youngkin is a businessman-turned-politician who spent 25 years at the private-equity firm The Carlyle Group, where he served as CEO from January 2018 through 2020.

On the Issues

  • Glenn Youngkin’s education plan does not address educator pay.

  • Would decimate funding for public schools and put Virginia’s economy squarely in the ditch. Glenn Youngkin has said he wants to eliminate the state income tax, which would devastate funding for essential public services such as public schools.

    Source: richmond.com, 7/29/21.

  • Vague promises, few details. Glenn Youngkin’s education plan does not mention anything about public education funding; however, he has discussed private partnership schools that slowly remove all funding for public education. Additionally, he favors using Virginia’s $4.3 billion slice from the American Rescue Plan for school choice programs and vouchers instead of funding public education.

    Sources: richmond.com, 7/29/21; and @American_Bridge, 8/11/21.

  • Attacks on equality. Glenn Youngkin has attacked K-12 educators for promoting racial equity in their lessons.

    Source: foxbusiness.com, 7/7/21.

  • Glenn Youngkin has not made a public statement in support of collective bargaining.

  • Is out of touch with real Americans’ struggles. Glenn Youngkin believes the American Rescue Plan, which delivered critical relief for working families, was “unnecessary” and “wrong.”

    Source: @VADemocrats, 5/12/21

  • Glenn Youngkin’s education plan does not include educator recruitment, retention, or professional development.

  • Has attacked the ACA. Glenn Youngkin has rallied against efforts to protect the Affordable Care Act and called attempts to expand Medicaid to all Virginians “sad.”

    Source: youngkinforgovernor.com, 7/1/21.

  • Not a friend to farmers. Glenn Youngkin has not outlined any plans or positions on investing in rural Virginia.

    Source: roanoke.com, 8/4/21.

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Paid for by NEA Fund for Children & Public Education, and authorized by Terry McAuliffe, candidate for Governor.