ROANOKE - On Thursday, Virginia candidate for lieutenant governor Del. Sam Rasoul (D-11) announced a plan to increase teacher pay and collective bargaining rights, invest in schools’ capital needs, and move away from high-stakes testing and toward social and emotional development.
The plan builds on Rasoul’s experience on the Education Committee in the General Assembly, and his legislation to incorporate social and emotional learning guidelines and to establish community schools. Rasoul made headlines last year when he tweeted that a local teacher delivered a pizza to his door as part of a second job she had to pick up due to inadequate pay.
Rasoul’s plan includes:
Collective bargaining rights for teachers and higher pay
Empowering local governments to raise funds for capital investments
Achieving the Gold Standard counselor-to-student ratio
Reforming college Boards of Visitors to include students, faculty, staff and community residents as voting members
Fully funding the incorporation of social and emotional learning into school curriculums
Universal early childhood care and affordable, accessible after school care through a Marshall Plan for Moms
Shutting down the school-to-prison pipeline by creating firm guidelines that direct disciplinary action to counselors, mental health workers and restorative justice practices
Read the full plan on Rasoul’s website.
“Teachers across Virginia are picking up second jobs or making the difficult decision to leave the profession because, quite frankly, they are not being treated like the professionals that they are in terms of pay, workplace conditions, or the right to represent themselves,” Rasoul said. “Having served as a substitute teacher myself, I’ve caught a glimpse of the mental health challenges teachers and students face. We need less high-stakes testing and a greater focus on holistic development that addresses a child’s social and emotional needs, as well.”
Watch the video with Rasoul’s third-grade teacher and why she’s supporting his campaign.