Public Comments for 02/10/2021 Education
SB1132 - Public schools; severe weather conditions and other emergency situations.
Last Name: Diamond Locality: Floyd

I think school should have no virtual when its a snow day because im not good at virtual and i want to get a break from school.

SB1175 - Brunswick County school board; appointed school board salaries.
No Comments Available
SB1196 - Teachers and other licensed school board employees; cultural competency training.
Last Name: Anonymous Locality: Fairfax

Oppose - The demands for cultural competency are not helpful or necessary. Living in America should be enough cultural competency without mandating more training for teachers.

Last Name: Whitlock Locality: Louisa

SB1196 is an arbitrary bill. It calls for "cultural competency" but mentions only one ethnicity and race. That seems discriminatory. The United States is too diverse to exclude other groups if proposing this standard for history and social sciences teachers. Students deserve well-rounded and fair instruction throughout their curriculum. Also, how would "competency" be defined and measured in an objective way? Finally, by mandating cultural competency training, you insinuate that educators and administrators are too ignorant, incompetent, or insensitive to serve their students and community.

SB1204 - George Mason University; management agreement with the Commonwealth.
Last Name: Pedowitz Organization: Arlington Chamber of Commerce Locality: Arlington

The Arlington Chamber of Commerce supports SB 1204, the management agreement between the Commonwealth and George Mason University granting the university Tier 3 status. This bill is identical to the House-passed HB 1986. George Mason has met all of the statutory requirements for approval as a Tier 3 institution, following its five-year pilot program in Tier 2.5. George Mason is an engaged contributor to our local community in Arlington and to our region and the Commonwealth as a whole, and we expect that it will make good use of this status to serve its educational mission. We thus encourage you to support the bill.

SB1387 - Students; eligibility for in-state tuition.
Last Name: Reddy Locality: Fairfax County

This bill is discriminatory. It ignores the legal immigrant technology workers's children, legal international students and their children, business visa holders and their children, and legally serving international workers from organizations like World Bank, Diplomatic Services, and United Nations representatives and their children. While all these categories of legal students who are paying taxes to Virginia are not eligible for in-state tuition and the scholarships, this bill proposes to provide that benefit to the undocumented students who broke the laws of the United States of America. There cannot be more discriminatory bill than this. As a tax payer, I am amazed how selfish power hungry politicians become for the sake of votes and keep their powers growing. I recommend to reject this bill and teach a lesson to the elected representatives who are trying to play with citizens hard earned tax money by doling out to less deserving students while ignoring more deserving students.

Last Name: Balta Locality: Richmond City

The passing of this bill would be a very significant step towards providing equal education opportunities for the students in Virginia. All students in Virginia should have a right to access to state financial aid programs and resources. The passing of this bill is not only going to impact the lives of many students, but it is also going to have numerous future benefits to the state of Virginia. Providing access to required educational resources to undocumented students and other aliens will ensure that these students get higher education, and access to greater employment opportunities as a result of their education. Once they have employment opportunities, they will contribute back to the economy of Commonwealth and will also have the chance to receive citizenship as a result of their employment. It is also going to help continuous college students who struggle to pay their tuition as it keeps rising every year.

Last Name: Sobalbarro Locality: Richmond

I fully support SB1387 because it is one step closer to educational equity. The difference between an undocumented student and a documented student is simple, the availability of opportunity. Immigrants in Virginia, in New Jersey, in Texas, and all across the United States make sacrifices everyday to be ideal citizens with the promise of the American dream. A dream that does not discriminate against race, ethnicity, gender, nationality, or citizenship status. A dream that will lift families out of extreme poverty. A dream that proves why America is so great. This bill will help to make the American dream a reality for aspiring students that will become the leaders of tomorrow. As a child of immigrant parents I know that education is many times the only available catalyst for upward mobility. By removing a barrier to education, thousands of Americans will benefit because the result is a skilled and educated workforce. Granting state aid tuition to undocumented students will keep the dream alive in our Commonwealth. I urge you to pass this bill.

Last Name: Hanson Locality: Richmond, VA

I encourage this committee to pass SB 1387 because the bill is integral to providing fair and equal opportunity to education for a significant amount of individuals in Virginia who could not afford the stiff price of higher education. As an immigrant to the US and a student at the University of Richmond, I know how difficult it is to afford college, and how important education is to the future success of individuals. As a result, simply discarding someone from the opportunity to improve their lives and ensure themselves a better future is in some ways preventing "the pursuit of happiness" and inhibiting their ability to pursue their "American dream". While granted, the cost of this bill is concerning, it will recoup the initial expense and then some. Higher education has a lot of externalities associated with it. There is less crime, improved standard of living, and the creation of highly skilled individuals that are going to bring more jobs to the city. Additionally, the creation of jobs and the higher wages associated with skill workers is going to lead to higher taxes paid to the state, something that benefits everyone.

Last Name: Hanson Locality: Richmond, VA

I encourage this committee to pass SB 1387 because the bill is integral to providing fair and equal opportunity to education for a significant amount of individuals in Virginia who could not afford the stiff price of higher education. As an immigrant to the US and a student at the University of Richmond, I know how difficult it is to afford college, and how important education is to the future success of individuals. As a result, simply discarding someone from the opportunity to improve their lives and ensure themselves a better future is in some ways preventing "the pursuit of happiness" and inhibiting their ability to pursue their "American dream". While granted, the cost of this bill is concerning, it will recoup the initial expense and then some. Higher education has a lot of externalities associated with it. There is less crime, improved standard of living, and the creation of highly skilled individuals that are going to bring more jobs to the city. Additionally, the creation of jobs and the higher wages associated with skill workers is going to lead to higher taxes paid to the state, something that benefits everyone.

Last Name: George Organization: LDST Justice and Civil Society: University of Richmond Locality: Richmond City

I encourage you to pass SB1387 as it will provide equity for undocumented students and equal opportunities for education and further success. As an undergraduate at the University of Richmond, I know how difficult it can be for students to pay for a college education and set themselves up for a more successful and beneficial future. Why should only some students be given these opportunities through financial aid and assistance while others suffer from loans and other payments? This bill will support undocumented students in their goals for a brighter future in the United States as it will give them educational opportunities that will aid them in seeking work and other positive externalities as a result of a college degree from a Virginia university. By passing this bill, the state of Virginia will receive more highly educated individuals in the workforce, strengthening the economy and helping people living in the community. Fourteen other states in the US have already extended state aid to undocumented students, which further proves that this bill is a step in the right direction for the state. For equity for students and a better future for the state of Virginia, I urge you to pass this bill.

Last Name: Whitlock Locality: Louisa

As read in its summary, SB1387 is NOT an equitable proposal. Virginia's code already extends in-state tuition to these certain students, and I believe that is fair and helpful. Also, providing many services to any student who may struggle with English is appropriate. However, making a non-citizen equal to a citizen when qualifying for and doling out financial aid is wrong. Financial aid is limited and is tax-payer funded. Why should the other students' needs be dismissed, and so easily? Why is citizenship being so devalued? My paternal grandparents emigrated to the United States from Italy in 1922. Their hardships and poverty were remarkable to me, but in many ways typical for other immigrants in that era. Their children - the next generation - served as soldiers and nurses in two wars, a bricklayer, teachers, secretaries, and even the wife of a lobbyist. My father had two, full-time jobs: a dairy farmer and papermill machine operator. My siblings and I all attended college, with three of us earning at least bachelor's degrees. And the majority of our children have master's degrees, with one holding a doctorate. Everyone of us paid for school through jobs, academic scholarships, or loans. Not one of us ever expected preferential treatment because of where we started. I was always taught that it's not where you start, it's where you finish that counts. If someone wants to be a part of this great nation and benefit from its abundance, then there are many pathways. Hard work, perseverance, and integrity afford a person true ownership of his or her future. I ask that you do not accept this bill as it is poorly conceived.

SB1405 - Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back (G3) Fund and Program; created and established, report.
Last Name: Pedowitz Organization: Arlington Chamber of Commerce Locality: Arlington

The Arlington Chamber of Commerce supports SB 1405 and the establishment of the G3 program. This bill is identical to the House-passed HB 2204. Advancing workforce development policy initiatives will position Virginia as a global leader in workforce readiness, and so we support a forward-looking approach where innovation and creativity foster better outcomes that benefit our community. The Chamber supports funding for career and technical education opportunities at all educational levels and for all stages of life. The G3 program is an important tool for helping Virginians pursue an education in the Commonwealth’s community college system. We thus ask you to support the bill.

Last Name: Durkin Organization: Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce Locality: Roanoke

The Roanoke Regional Chamber supports SB 1405, an initiative to encourage low and middle income Virginians to seek jobs in high-demand fields. We believe that this is an innovative solution to fill open positions, and we ask for your support.

End of Comments