Prince Edward County has a unique legacy in fighting for quality, public education. Our community was the site of one of the five cases that constituted Brown. v. Board of Education (1954). As part of this legal battle, people in our community fought for equality and a right to public education. As your house delegate, I promise to uphold these tenants and fight for quality education for all. Here are some of the ways I will advocate for a strong educational system.
In today's economy a STEAM based curriculum is a must. In the past schools relied heavily on preparing our students for the Standards of Learning Assessments (SOLs) this is no longer enough. Currently we're not where we should be implementing STEAM-based learning. And for those who want to practice a trade, we must have vocational programs. We still need electricians, plumbers, builders, mechanics, and masons. Community colleges can supply these programs at no cost to the student. Then, after a two year program, the student can hit the ground running.
We also must attract and keep well-qualified teachers. We must give incentives to local students interested in becoming educators to come back to the district to teach, as opposed to their leaving our community to teach elsewhere. And then, the best incentive is higher wages. We can't attract quality without paying for it. We could have scholarship programs for students who will return and become part of our local school system.
We must also reduce the interest on student loans so students starting a future won't have to start with thousands of dollars of debt.