Education

I am a grassroots education activist.

As the mother of two daughters and a former PTA board member, I’ve worked for years to strengthen our local schools. As the Education Aide for Supervisor John Foust, I worked with Dranesville District schools and nonprofits to provide necessities for children from families with limited financial resources - including weekend food bags, winter coats, shoe drives, bike helmets and more. As a legislator, I’ve continued this work on behalf of our children, adding menstrual supplies to the items provided to our students. As Parent Education Chair for the Unified Prevention Coalition, I organized events and programs to discuss ways to prevent alcohol and drug abuse with our teens, the importance of sleep and stress management, and the overall health and wellness of our students. Proud to have been awarded Virginia Education Association’s “Solid as a Rock” for my voting history on education.

 

I support innovative teaching and increased autonomy in the classroom. I will continue to support increased funding for Virginia schools.

I know it is essential that the state fully meet its constitutional responsibility to adequately fund K through 12 education. State direct aid per student, adjusted for inflation, is up 16% in Loudoun County and up 14% in Fairfax County. We need to do more: statewide per-pupil funding, adjusted for inflation, for K-12 education has declined 9 percent since the 2008-2009 school year while the student population is projected to have grown by more than 53,000 students and staffing has declined by 1,242 positions.

 

I support innovative teaching and increased autonomy in the classroom.

I’ve worked in the General Assembly to help teachers gain autonomy in the classroom and help our students move away from the focus of standardized multiple-choice tests instead of being able to focus on critical thinking and problem-solving. One of my new initiatives is to bring mindfulness, yoga and other stress management techniques to alleviate the high stress of our students and teachers.

 

I support legislation to address inequities in treatment of minorities and students with special educational needs.

I cosponsored legislation to stop the school to prison pipeline for minorities by requiring alternatives to suspension and expulsion and unequal harsh consequences for minorities. I am working to stop the use of isolation and restraint as discipline tools; support the use of de-escalation techniques and trauma-informed training. I am working with the deaf and hard of hearing community to ensure that language goals are identified and met.