College of William & Mary School of Education students who are members of the Student Virginia Education Association (SVEA) joined the “Put Kids First” rally sponsored by the Virginia PTA and the Virginia Education Association (VEA).
“We’ve been underfunded, class sizes are being raised, we have a need for Pre-K, it’s just been too long,” said Meg Gruber, the President of the Virginia Education Association.
Gruber said they hope this movement will get the attention of lawmakers and the Governor to realize the importance of the funding needed.
“We’re still being funded at 2009 per pupil level, that’s a decrease of 16 percent,” said Gruber. The Virginia public school education system ranks 5th in the nation but Virginia ranks 41st in the nation in state K-12 funding per student.
Sarah Gaspari, Emily Nalker, Kristin Kurtz, Kelly Glass, and Katie Krauss and Professor Gail McEachron were among teachers and students from all over Virginia who took part, marching from the Richmond Convention Center, to the State Capitol.
Philip Forgit, Executive Director of the Virginia Education Association (VEA), was one of the organizers of the event. Forgit is an alumnus of William & Mary, receiving a Bachelors in History (’89) and a Master's in Elementary Education (’95).