Newsletter Extra

FEBRUARY 1, 2022

Armchair Activist Opportunities

#1: The Tip Line

As you probably have already heard, Governor Youngkin has established a tip line to report teachers who use “divisive teaching practices” (even though he doesn’t define what that entails) and his administration refuses to answer who is to monitor the tip line and how an report will be addressed.

Let’s also let the Governor know of the positive impact that our schools have had, and that he has overstepped.  Express your opinion of the tip line.  As a former teacher, I find this demeaning and insulting to be reported to the government for undefined divisiveness with no stated recourse. 

Let’s do this!

Some suggestions for you to report:

  • Who was your favorite teacher and what did they teach?
  • What teacher had the most positive impact on your life?
  • What does your child like about their current teacher? 
  • How has your school or your child’s school had a positive impact on your life?  
  • What are some of your fondest memories about school?
  • Express your personal opinion of this action.

The governor’s site is for comments is:

helpeducation@governor.virginia.gov

Youngkin faces criticism from Dems over schools ‘tipline’
By SARAH RANKIN, Associated Press

…  He urged parents to write with “any instances where they feel that their fundamental rights are being violated, where their children are not being respected, where there are inherently divisive practices in their schools.”

The initiative is part of a broader push by Youngkin to identify and root out what he says are elements of critical race theory in the state’s curriculum.

#ThankATeacher: Parents, educators flood Youngkin’s email hotline with positive school experiences
By SCOTT GELMAN, WTOP

Virginia educators and parents on Wednesday urged the community to send positive experiences with teachers to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s new email hotline aimed at collecting information about school happenings that parents perceive as divisive. Using the hashtag #ThankATeacher, social media users were encouraged to send an email to the new address with information about favorite teachers, how children feel about their current teachers and fond school memories.

Concerns raised over new divisive learning tip line to report critical race theory in schools
By JON DOWDING, WAVY-TV

…   The tip line, created by the governor’s office, serves as a way for parents, students and teachers to report educators and schools who use “divisive teaching practices,” specifically involving critical race theory. President Dr. James Fedderman of the Virginia Education Association says he nor the over 40,000 teachers in the VEA received guidance from the state detailing what exactly constitutes “divisive learning.

#2: Appalachian Power and Dominion Energy

If your delegate is Kathy Byron, you can express your opinion on this bill as she is a member of the committee reviewing this bill.
ActionNetwork.org 

For years, monopoly electric utilities Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power have convinced our state legislators to allow them to write their own rules. As a result, Dominion has “legally” overcharged its customers more than $1.2 billion since 2015, and Appalachian Power has secured weaker energy efficiency standards to the detriment of their customers in Southwest Virginia. 

This is an outrage — especially now, as families continue to struggle to make ends meet during the Covid pandemic, all while the climate crisis intensifies. Lawmakers should stop this by restoring full oversight of these electric utilities to independent utility regulators.

Email Kathy Byron Today

Bipartisan House Bill 1288 (Hudson (D) and Ware (R)) would restore the State Corporation Commission’s authority to set fair electricity rates for customers of Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power. The bill is an important step towards fair and just energy prices and ensuring that our utilities serve the public interest.

Your delegate is on a key committee for this bill. Ask her to SUPPORT HB 1288.