‘There’s a tug of war for your children’: Virginia Lt. Gov. calls for school choice

Montessori Lab School in Chesapeake, Virginia, offers students a bilingual, Christian-oriented learning environment that is nurturing, consistent, safe, and peaceful.

Editor’s note: This article appeared Monday on Virginia’s wjla.com.

Virginia Lt. Governor Winsome Earle-Sears renewed her call for school choice after Virginia’s Advanced Placement ranking dropped from ninth in the nation in 2021 to eleventh in 2022. In 2015, Virginia ranked in third place.

“This is very disheartening information, and for me and as well for parents, but when you think about it from the student’s perspective, it’s devastating,” said Earle-Sears. “When I was on the school board, we had much higher standards and you see what happens when you lower the standards. And these are children’s lives.”

Earlier this year, Earle-Sears pushed for a bill that would allow parents to use state education funding to cover the costs of educational opportunities outside the public school system, an effort that failed in the Virginia legislature this year, but Earle-Sears said she’d like to renew in the next legislative session.

“It’s ESA accounts and it’s where two-thirds of the funds that would normally go to the public school would stay in the public school even though the child isn’t there,” she said. “One-third would go with the child and so what it would do is also reduce class size in the public schools.

“And then the one thing that goes with the child would be for extra tutoring. It would be for homeschooling, a private school, public school, whatever that the parent wanted to do.”

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BY Special to NextSteps