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VEA & PTA "Put Kids First" Campaign

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The Virginia PTA and the Virginia Education Association have joined together to launch a new public awareness campaign called “Put Kids First."

VEA President Meg Gruber pointed out that before the recent recession, Virginia ranked number one in the nation on the “chance of success” index for children, but that the state has now fallen to 9th place.  And in spite of rhetoric at the Capitol about “holding the line” on education cuts, state funding has actually dropped  16% since 2009,when inflation is taken into account. Gruber said the new campaign aims to help the public recognize the troubling signs:

“School facilities are overdue for repairs. Leaky roofs, peeling paint, using out of date equipment and materials. Classrooms that are so overloaded that teachers can't possibly provide the individualized instruction that we want to give. Kids who are struggling to the point of tears with an out-0f-control system of standardized testing. Cuts to wonderful programs—the arts, music, you name it. Five-thousand fewer educators serve our students today then we had in 2009 even though our numbers of students have increased. We are headed in the wrong direction.

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PTA Pres Brenda Sheridan, VEA Communications Director John O'Neil and VEA Pres Meg Gruber (l-r)

Gruber said elected leaders claim to be “friends of education”… so parents, teachers, and the public must compel them to take action to reverse these trends. The organizations will hold a rally in support of public education at the State Capitol on April 18th.  More information can be found here.

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Here's the full audio of the news conference in Richmond.

 

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