Diversifying Virginia’s Teacher Workforce
I was proud to stand with Delegates Foy and Peake who championed legislation to diversity the teacher workforce. Yesterday, Governor Ralph Northam signed into law a bill that allows the Board of Education to issue a license to an individual seeking initial licensure who has not completed the professional assessments prescribed by the Board, if the teacher meets other certain criteria. The new law also removes the requirement that the Board of Education prescribe an assessment of basic skills for individuals seeking entry into an approved education preparation program and establish a minimum passing score for such assessment.
We know that tests don’t always give us an accurate picture of one’s ability. We hope that by reducing barriers, we can attract and retain teachers who are knowledgeable about their content and passionate about their students, but who may struggle with standardized tests, just as some of their own students might.
A full version of this bill can be found HERE.
Bill Signing: Increasing the Number of School Counselors
For the first time in nearly 30 years, lawmakers in the 2019 legislative session addressed the need for more school counselors. As our students face an increasing number of issues that take a toll on their social and emotional well-being, school counselors are a natural resource for students experiencing challenges in and out of the classroom. However, many schools counselors are spending a lot of time completing administrative tasks and coordinating testing, rather than spending the majority of their time providing mental health services. There simply has not been enough school counselors.
This morning, Governor Ralph Northam signed legislation that will increase the number of school counselors in our schools. I am proud to stand with legislators, school staff, and students today to recognize the work our school counselors do and to support the legislation that will allow for more counselors and thereby provide better access for our students. We are committed to returning school counselors’ primary role to improving student’s academic success, career development, and personal/social health while they build strong relationships and rapport with all of the children in the school.
Healthy, happy students who are in supportive environments where their mental health is a priority leads to successful students. Virginia schools are committed to delivering a comprehensive school counseling program and an exemplary educational environment.
@VASecofEdu @GovernorVA @RPS_Schools @RosalynDance @DeloresMcQuinn @VSCA #SchoolCounselors #VAis4Learners