Youngkin eliminates school equity initiatives in long list of programs VA superintendent calls 'divisive'

Gov. Glenn Youngkin
Posted at 10:13 PM, Feb 27, 2022

HAMPTON ROADS, Va - In a 19-page report, Governor Glenn Youngkin’s Department of Education getting rid of dozens of equity and diversity resources, he says promotes discriminatory and divisive concepts such as critical race theory, which is not taught in Virginia public schools. The report details a series of policies and resources related to diversity, equity and inclusion that the Department of Education characterized as "divisive concepts."

One resource includes getting rid of the culturally responsive website that creates a curriculum that responds to the social and cultural needs of students.

Reagan Davis, a teacher in the Chesapeake Public School district and president of the Chesapeake Teacher Association believes equity brings unity.

"Anytime they would mention the word equity, it was a red flag for this particular memo. When we see things in our school division that are promoting equity, it allows us to take a look at the students we serve and it gives us strategies about how we can best support them," Davis said.

Davis says different cultural perspectives contribute to learning more.

"All populations, all cultures and ideas have not been and may not be portrayed in certain curriculum such as the concept of slavery. It is something that has happened in our nation’s history. In some cultures including our black and brown populations are going to feel that there perspectives are included and we should include their perspectives," Davis said.

The Virginia NAACP released a statement saying they are outraged by the Department of Education’s report and adding it has an effect on teaching accurate history.

In a statement, Governor Youngkin says, “Our Virginia students should not be taught to discriminate on the basis of sex, skin color, or religion and VDOE policies should certainly not recommend such concepts.”

Under Governor Youngkin's executive order, another report is due in about two months to identify any quote "necessary executive and legislative actions needed to end the use of divisive concepts in public education."