I am deeply concerned about our children having access to a strong public education system that gives every child maximum opportunity and prepares them for higher education or a good job. Attracting, retaining, and rewarding quality educators is crucial for the current and future success of our children. I will work across party lines to ensure that Virginia incentivizes quality teachers to remain in the classroom, not punishing them with teacher reporting tip lines or videos in the classrooms to monitor them. I will advocate for helping local school districts in increasing the compensation and support systems in place to support our teachers because when you recruit and retain the best teachers, every Virginia student wins.
I also worry about the affordability of college. In Virginia we are so fortunate to have outstanding public universities. As a graduate of UVA, I know firsthand the importance of access to Virginia colleges and universities. But we can’t leave our students, our children, drowning in mountains of debt. Getting a college education is being priced out of budget for far too many of us. This is not acceptable. I will work to curb increases in tuition to attend Virginia universities for our children, to ensure that all our children are given a fair opportunity for higher education.
More fundamentally, we must ensure families, and especially mothers, have the resources and support systems early on to nurture healthy children. This means establishing a robust paid family and medical leave system here in Virginia, so that new moms don't have to worry about where their next paycheck is coming from after giving birth. It also means working toward ensuring all Virginia families have access to affordable child care. It is absolutely unacceptable that the largest expense families pay on a regular basis is for child care.