The future governor of Virginia rallied with supporters Saturday night in front of the Loudoun County Public Schools building, telling them education was going to be the primary focus of his next four years in office.
“I want all of you to know that I am going to be the education governor,” Glenn Youngkin told supporters, many waving “Parents for Youngkin” signs.
“Because you all stood up for our children, you all started something right here that spread across the commonwealth (and) across the nation,” Youngkin said, referring to recent protests targeting school boards and parent groups over critical race theory.
“And then Virginians stood up and voted and made a statement on your behalf. You all did this. Thank you so much.”
Over the summer, parents en masse attended school board meetings to voice displeasure at school curriculums.
“We can’t go back to our old lives, because guess what happens when we go back to our old lives? We wake up and our school boards have moved. We wake up and our kids are being taught things we don’t want them to learn,” Youngkin said.
The school system disputes that they teach critical race theory, a term coined by legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw that describes teaching “equity” and examining systemic racism in schools.
“Folks, this is not about hiding our past. This is about knowing where we’ve come from. So we will know where we are going,” Youngkin said. “But I will tell you that we will not be teaching critical race theory in our schools.”
Youngkin also talked about his plans to “reestablish high expectations in our school” while increasing spending on education, including allocating funding for raising salaries, funding special education programs and launching charter schools.
In comments to WTOP’s news partners at NBC Washington, Youngkin addressed school safety: “Safety in schools as part of that day-one game plan has been something I’ve been really, really focused on. That’s why I think every school should have a school resource officer in it.”
Youngkin will take office this January.