Virginia’s Gubernatorial race Tuesday shows a polling gap of less than one percent between the two candidates, Republican contender Glenn Youngkin and Democratic challenger and former Virginia governor, Terry McAuliffe. Over the weekend McAuliffe, who has already been controversial in his statements towards education and parents’ rights, said that the state needs more white teachers.
While on a campaign stop in Manassas, Virginia, McAuliffe promised to “diversify” the state’s education programs to attract more minority teachers. “We got to work hard to diversify our teacher base” he said.
“Fifty per cent of our students are students of color, 80 per cent of the teachers are White, so what I’m going to do for you – we’ll be the first state in America…if you go teach in Virginia for five years in a high-demand area – that could be geographic, it could be course work – we will pay room, board, tuition, any college, any university, or any HBCU here in Virginia.”
As the Daily Mail notes, the reference to HBCU, “Historically Black Colleges and Universities insinuated that the free college program would be aimed at prioritizing attracting prospective non-white teachers to the state.”
In a FiveThirtyEight polling average, Youngkin has pulled ahead of McAuliffe, and as of Monday evening, Youngkin polls at 47.9% to McAuliffe’s 47%. A poll from Fox 5 released Monday had Youngkin ahead by 2 percentage points, which is still within the poll’s 4.4 per cent margin of error.
McAuliffe has been battling parents and Republicans after he said during one of the gubernatorial debates that parents shouldn’t tell schools what to teach their children. During his appearance on “Meet the Press” on Sunday, McAuliffe doubled down on his statements from the debate and said “everybody clapped when I said it.”
McAuliffe was referring to his statement “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach” and “I’m not going to let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decision.” McAuliffe’s statements were made around controversial issues such as teaching critical race theory in schools, and mask mandates.