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By Amanda Litvinov
The EdVotes team loves Valentine’s Day! There’s the candy, cards, flowers, and phone calls–what’s not to love?
We also like to take the opportunity to recognize elected leaders who have proven themselves to be true friends of public education. This year, we’re focusing on governors.
Help us honor these four pro-public education leaders by sharing these graphics on social media.
Since he was elected in 2014, Gov. Tom Wolf has worked hard to restore funding for public schools that were the targets of devastating cuts under the previous administration.
In his most recent budget, Gov. Wolf not only invests more in public education, he also proposes an innovative school breakfast initiative that will help eliminate hunger–a serious barrier to learning–for more kids across the Commonwealth.
Gov. Jay Inslee has called on the state legislature to fully fund basic education for the first time in decades. His proposal includes a substantial increase in pay for all public school employees, which would help curb the state’s teacher shortage. Inslee’s plan also protects local collective bargaining rights, maintaining the flexibility for school districts to meet the needs of their students.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe introduced his biennial budget in December. Despite Virginia’s low unemployment and other markers of a healthy economy, revenues did not meet expectations, and cuts were necessary. But Gov. McAuliffe’s budget protected the historic investments his administration made in public schools the previous year.
Also, last April, McAuliffe vetoed three bills that would have undermined public schools, including so-called “school choice” legislation that would have diverted funds from public schools to private schools.
This isn’t the first time we’ve sent Gov. Mark Dayton a Valentine. He’s been a good friend to public schools since he was sworn in back in 2011. Dayton has succeeded in increasing education spending every year, and this year he has proposed another 2 percent increase in per-pupil spending.
Gov. Dayton’s plan also includes investments in early childhood education that would mean more of the state’s littlest learners have access to high quality early learning through their public schools.