Virginia's Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin hasn't shied away from the culture war playing out in some of the Commonwealth's biggest school districts after numerous scandals came to light showing significant failures and attempted cover-ups in Fairfax and Loudoun County public schools.
The latest educational malpractice to come to light was the district's failure to notify its students of their national merit recognition and, as the governor and Virginia's Attorney General Jason Miyares launch greater oversight of how Fairfax County schools are being run, Youngkin is not holding back in his criticism.
"It impacts their ability to apply to college for scholarships, and in this idea of a 'golden ticket' as it is called was withheld from them — and it seems to have been withheld from them for the purpose of not wanting to make people feel bad who didn't achieve it," Youngkin said of Fairfax schools' latest scandal in an interview with Northern Virginia ABC affiliate WJLA.
"All of a sudden, we see it spreading around to the rest of Fairfax County," Youngkin explained.
"The reality is that we have a superintendent in Fairfax schools who has explicitly stated that her top objective is equal outcomes for all students, regardless of the price," Youngkin continued. "Now we know the price includes paying $450,000 to a liberal consultant to come in and teach the administrators in Fairfax County how to do this. What it appears happened is that principals in schools decided that they were going to systematically withhold accolades and a path to college admission and scholarships from high-performing students," the governor added of the effect of Fairfax schools' woke and expensive decision to hold students back in the name of "equity."
Attorney General Miyares explained the added potential cost to students of Fairfax schools' woke agenda. "Only three percent of high school seniors get recognized," he said. "It’s a huge issue."
"We actually know of some schools that give a full four-year scholarship if you are one of those who get recognized a national merit award commendation,” Miyares continued. "How you pay for college can be as stressful as getting into college. The idea that sometimes these are $90,000 to $100,000-plus benefits of scholarships that were never going to be told that these students are eligible to apply for — that's wrong," Miyares noted.
Rest assured that @JasonMiyaresVA will get to the bottom of this failure because our students and parents matter.— Governor Glenn Youngkin (@GovernorVA) January 14, 2023
So in addition to the $450K spent by the district to apparently indoctrinate administrators in the woke ways of "equity," the students from whom their national merit recognition was withheld could have lost out on tens of thousands of dollars in merit-based financial aid. But that's not all.
According to WJLA's story, Fairfax County schools also threw $20,000 away for a 60-minute Zoom session for teachers to hear from an author and Loudoun County schools have been spending taxpayer funds to have Equity Collaborative train its staff. In light of this, the ABC affiliate asked Youngkin if such school district expenses constitute a misuse of public funds.
"I think this is part of our investigation," was Youngkin's reply. "They have a maniacal focus on equal outcomes for all students at all costs," he added of Fairfax County schools' woke agenda. "At the heart of the American dream is excelling, is advancing, is stretching and recognizing that we have students that have different capabilities," Youngkin continued. "Some students have the ability to perform at one level, others need more help, and we have to allow students to run as fast as they can to dream the biggest dreams they can possibly dream and then go get them."