VA Education Secretary: Education is a victim of state’s budget delays

VA Education Secretary: Education is a victim of state’s budget delays

Innovation and partnerships will expand opportunities

Virginia’s Education Secretary Aimee Guidera wrote in a recent OpEd that last November’s elections made it clear that Virginians are concerned about education – and that Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration has acted accordingly.

Rethinking education means budgeting accordingly, and Guidera writes that “our mission is to equip Virginia’s educators with the largest education budget in the commonwealth’s history.” She argues that funding needs to be innovative to address issues like the “alarming” data surrounding “Virginia’s literacy crisis.”

She emphasized the need for innovative thinking, writing “We must fuel innovation and partnerships to expand opportunities for quality and varied learning experiences for our students.” One of these innovations is The College Partnership Laboratory Schools bill.

Lab schools are innovative K-12 schools that partner with institutions of higher learning and allow for the development and testing of new educational models. “Through partnerships with colleges and universities and their local school divisions, we can create learning environments that engage students in hands-on learning,” Youngkin said in a news conference earlier this year. “Let’s think outside the box. … We are not defining the solution but opening up all available avenues to be innovative.”

The new budget calls for $150 million to, a Guidera put it, “incentivize and fuel this innovation.” However, while the budget remains unresolved, innovations like this remain untapped.

She ended by saying “The uncertainty posed by inaction on the budget prolongs the progress we can make in this unique moment. Our students deserve a best-in-class education system. The Youngkin administration is ready to work with everyone who shares those values and priorities, and wants to deliver that promise for Virginia’s children.”

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