How To Access Questionnaire:
Enter your address on the left.
Click the green button that says "Get personalized information on candidates and issues."
Then click the green button that says "Show My Races."
The first race to appear is your Senate race. Click the arrow on the right to be taken to the information for the race for House District 38.
Teacher salaries are a serious problem in Virginia. Not only do we rank 30th in the nation for average teacher salary, but localities are consistently underfunding school systems rather than increasing funding in order to raise teacher salaries to a more competitive level. Fairfax County, for example, has continued to be less and less competitive regionally and consequently lost new, as well as experienced, teachers to surrounding districts because of comparative salary differences. To date, the General Assembly has been unwilling to allocate the money needed to raise teacher salaries statewide. Failing sizable state funding increases, the burden continues to fall on localities more and more heavily.
How will I work to provide state funding to raise teacher salaries? Look at my record for the past 18 years--10 years as a Fairfax County School Board member and 8 years as a Delegate from the 38th district. I have consistently advocated for higher salaries and a living wage for teachers, a more favorable cost-of-competing differential while fighting for fair practices for teachers in the workplace. I am a reliable and vocal advocate for teachers and the need for recognition of the crucial role they play in molding future generations.
I will continue to introduce favorable legislation and budget amendments that will help teachers meet the needs of Virginia's increasingly diverse student body.
Of course I actively support policy changes and budget appropriations to ensure that disadvantaged three year-olds have access to high-quality pre-K programs.
Virginia's tuition tax credit programs must be more transparent and accountable for the outcomes in student achievement for those children who participate in these subsidized academic projects.
A notable number of states (other than Virginia) are recognizing graft and corruption in the state tuition tax credits programs they have approved. We must develop evaluation standards and transparency standards in order to assure the public that their tax money is well spent. Virginia's Tax Department, Department of Education and General Assembly must wake up to their responsibilities--responsibilities that have not been realized to date and must quickly develop methods of evaluation of educational results and of efficient expenditures of tax dollars.
I have consistently spoken out on the HOD floor, in Finance Committee and in Commerce and Labor Committee to highlight the problems inherent in these tuition tax credit programs and voted accordingly.
I have also been consistent in opposing both local and state efforts to weaken continuing contracts for teachers. I will continue to bring attention to this ongoing years-long effort to undermine the professional status of the teaching profession.
My top priorities for quality education in Virginia are: 1) increase funding for teacher training and teacher salaries statewide, lower the teacher to student ratios in our classrooms, especially in classes for those students for whom English is not the first language; 2) revise DOE/State Board evaluation formulae to better reflect the reality of the challenges in Virginia's classrooms today; 3) prevent the increase of required courses and credits which impinge upon a teacher's ability to teach and deny students a full range of curricular choices and opportunities; 4) reduce unfunded mandates; 5) update the cost of competing algorithms to more fairly fund the SOQ's; and 6) highlight the extraordinary achievements of our public schools at every opportunity.
The members of the FEA and VEA have always been ready and willing to offer wise advice and readily answer my questions. I appreciate the availability of FEA/VEA members to work with me during sessions and in between sessions. I look forward to our strong working relationships becoming even stronger in the future. We will need to be unrelenting and very solid in our efforts to support and enhance public education in the coming new administration years.
Thank you for the opportunity to work with you.
- Fairfax NAACP Letter of Support:
"On the behalf of the Fairfax County NAACP Executive Committee, members, and supporters, I would like to thank you for participating in our candidate forum on Saturday. As you could tell from the energy on display, our members are very knowledgeable on the issues, and dedicated to shaping the outcome of these very important primary races. We understand that this is a very critical time in your campaign, so your presence demonstrated that you value our votes, and are committed to addressing our concerns. We would also be honored if you would consider granting us the opportunity to host a debate."
Kofi Annan - President, Fairfax NAACP
2017 Fairfax NAACP Delegate Candidate Questionnaire:
1. Yes, I would vote for SJ 231, calling for an independent commission to redraw congressional and legislative districts.
2. I am undecided about the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines. I would like to review the environmental impact statements and observe the process of negotiations between localities and the industry.
3 .Yes, I do support an increase in our state minimum wage. The nationally supported amount of $15/hour would establish a living wage.
4. Yes, I do support Medicaid expansion in Virginia. As a sitting Delegate, I have supported this throughout the past 4 years.
5. Yes, I have supported and continue to support all efforts to restore voting rights to people with past felony convictions.
7. The best way to address the minority student achievement gap is to increase funding to schools whose test scores reveal such a gap. Increased funding will allow smaller class sizes, before and after school tutoring, additional classroom resources, family education programs and other proven intervention and preventive educational efforts.
8. The most pressing issue impacting minorities for the next Virginia General Assembly session will be redistricting. Expansion of Medicaid is also a vital issue impacting Virginia's minorities which the General Assembly should address in 2018.
9. Yes, I support legislation increasing privacy regulations related to users' Internet data.
10. I do not support any additional legislation supporting charter schools in Virginia. Charter schools under the supervision of our elected School Boards are currently legal. Those who believe charter schools will help at-risk students should use this mechanism.
11. Yes, I support the use of police body cameras. Yes, the Commonwealth should assist localities in that funding.
12. Until we know exactly what AG Sessions will order to increase the 'war on drugs', we cannot plan how to combat it at the state level. We can, however, continue to resist mandatory minimums and continue efforts to reduce the seriousness of marijuana sentences.
13. I do not believe that Virginia police have an obligation to enforce federal immigration laws. No federal statute currently orders this action.
Thank you for the opportunity to respond to this questionnaire and in so doing, request NAACP support of my re-election.