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VEA President Dr. Kitty Boitnott Urges Investment in Education

During a panel discussion at the State Capitol Wednesday, VEA President Dr. Kitty Boitnott took state educators’ messages to the media corps assembled as part of Associated Press Day, an annual event that culminated this year in a debate between U.S. Senate candidates Tim Kaine and George Allen.

As preparations heat up for the 2012 session of Virginia’s General Assembly, Boitnott urged legislators to give public schools the money they so desperately need. “Instead of investing in our schools, Virginia has taken to under-funding them,” she said. “We’re operating at 2007 funding levels and it’s just about 2012. Some would have you believe that public education is a drain on the General Fund, but it’s not an expense—it’s an investment.”

Appearing on a preK-12 education panel with outgoing State Senator Edd Houck, Delegate Steve Landes, and Jasen Eige, counsel to the governor, Boitnott also spoke out in support of national certification for teachers. “VEA is very much in support of the national board certification process—we should improve access to it,” she said. “It’s a documented way to demonstrate what teachers must know and be able to do, and it is excellent professional development.”

Pushing for the state to retain financial supplements for teachers who earn the certification, Boitnott said, “This form of compensation for teachers is a much more worthy one than some other, more popular forms, such as merit pay, which evaluate teachers on the basis of one test score.”

Senator Houck was less than optimistic about the coming GA session. “Education advocates are probably going to be playing a lot of defense,” he said, and went on to criticize some initiatives that will most likely be put forward, such as tuition tax credits: “At at time when we are not adequately funding our public schools, it doesn’t make sense to take public dollars and help fund private schools.”


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