Petition to Virginia House of Delegates and Senators

Support Education Choice in Virginia

Whereas: The Virginia Code §1-240.1 recognizes every Virginia parent’s fundamental right “to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education, and care of the parent’s child;”[1]

Whereas: The 2022 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) ranks the United States 22nd in the world – behind China (No.1), Singapore (No. 2) and Estonia (No. 3) – in K12 reading, math, and science proficiency;[2]

Whereas: The 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reports Virginia’s 4th grade and 8th grade math scores were the lowest reported since 2000 and the average 4th grade and 8th grade reading scores were the lowest since 1994 and 1998, respectively;[3]

Whereas: COVID Learning loss studies (2021-2022), as measured by Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) tests, revealed that more than half of third graders failed their reading and / or math SOLs in 20 local school divisions and more than half of eight graders failed their math SOLs in 60 local school divisions;[4] and

Whereas: 64% of Virginia local school district parents surveyed say that nationwide K12 education is generally going in the wrong direction and 77% of school parents support enactment of an Education Savings Account that would allow a parent to use a portion of public school per pupil funding to pay for: private school funding, tutoring, online education programs, therapies for special needs students, textbooks and materials.[5]

Therefore: I urge you to enact education savings account legislation that will provide parents with the financial capacity to remove their student from the public school to which they have been assigned, based on their zip code, and place them in a private school or homeschool, as allowed by existing law.