Investing in Schools
Excellence in Virginia public schools begins with excellent teachers. That’s why Shelly strongly believes we must raise teacher pay so that it’s no longer stuck at pre-recession levels. Teacher pay in Virginia is currently at $7,900 below the national average, and we’re losing out on top-quality teachers as a result. Shelly also has a bold vision to improve school infrastructure across Virginia. Many of our students are studying in overcrowded classrooms and run down buildings built before the 1950s. Investing in school infrastructure will bring jobs to our district and create a learning environment worthy of our children.
Connecting Students to Careers
As Chair of the Board of the New Horizons Regional Education Center, Shelly has a proven record of connecting students to careers. During her tenure on the School Board, graduation rates have risen to 92%, and Newport News School students have earned over 2,000 career and technical certifications, preparing them for the jobs of today and tomorrow. The number of students receiving career and technical certifications has doubled under Shelly’s School Board membership. She is also a strong advocate for investing more state funds in STEM education and will fight to ensure every school in Newport News is preparing its students for graduation and beyond.
Closing the Achievement Gap
As an educator, Shelly is passionate about closing the achievement gap and making sure all our kids get the same benefit from our school system, not just children from wealthy families. As a member of the Virginia School Board Association’s Challenged Schools Taskforce, Shelly helped secure $2,000,000 for low-income students to attend summer school programs in Newport News. Over the past three years, the number of students attending these programs has grown from less than 1,000 to 7,000 students served. Summer school programs are vital to ensuring that kids from all backgrounds start the new school year ready to succeed. As Delegate, Shelly will bring more programs like these to Newport News and fight for a school system that levels the playing field in the classroom and in life.