So Many Bills, So Many Partners
March 11, 2020
March 11, 2020
March 11, 2020
We are still digging into the details of the budget, but as I reflect on all the good work we did this session I’m reminded of how grateful I am that VEA has so many wonderful partners in this work. We have long worked with VASS (Virginia Association of School Superintendents) and VSBA (Virginia School Boards Association) and the lobbyist from all the school divisions, but this session in particular we also worked closely with our partners in the 2019 elections. We worked hard to get candidates elected who would bring real change to Virginia, and we worked even harder this session to hold them to their promises.
You can click here to see the list of all of the various partners with whom we worked, but I had to highlight a couple:
VEA worked with the VA Association of Counties (VACO) and the Virginia Municipal League VML) to push reversal of the support staff cap. We also supported their efforts on local taxing authority.
Progress Virginia led the efforts on student loan reform and other bills VEA supported this year and we worked closely with them all session.
Equality VA led the anti-discrimination work this session and we were so proud to work with them on the sweeping legislation that passed this year.
The New Virginia Majority led the fight on democracy and voters’ rights issues. We worked with them to make sure all Virginians has easy access to voting and that barriers that prevent some communities, especially those of color, were removed. We also worked with them on legislation that protected dreamers and to allow them to receive in-state tuition.
VEA was part of the Raise the Wage Coalition to make sure we passed legislation to raise the minimum wage.
VEA is a coalition partner for Fund Our Schools who, in alignment with our own Fund Our Future Campaign, worked to fully implement and fund the revised SOQs issues by the Board of Education.
VEA worked with our partners at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence to keep our schools gun free zones and to support reasonable action to limit gun violence, especially when it comes to children.
We worked more hours than I can count with our friends at the Legal Aid Justice Center on bills to slow down and, one day, shut down the school-to-prison pipeline.
We supported the hard work of the Virginia Retired Teachers Association as they pushed through legislation to give non-teachers a health care credit.
And, finally, the VEA, as the largest labor union in VA, was a key partner in the work of the VA Labor Coalition as we worked to repeal the ban on public sector employee collective bargaining.
Each of these partnerships is important and we were only able to move so much legislation this session because of them all.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, teachers in Virginia earn 32.7% less in weekly wages than other (non-teacher) college-educated workers. Virginia’s teacher wage penalty is the worst in the nation.Take Action Now