The amazingly well named blog, “The Bull Elephant” shows how fearful the Republicans are of losing David Ramadan’s seat to Jack Tiwari. The best way to know when some on their side are scared is when they start lying about their opponents, and it’s already begun there.
Jack’s looking at every issue affecting Virginia. A big one for most of us is education. TBE quoted this from the Times-Mirror story on Jack’s entry to the race:
‘Our schools are overcrowded, Loudoun has still not instituted full day kindergarten, and teacher pay is still below the national average,’ he said in a prepared statement. ‘We need to prioritize education in the General Assembly, particularly early childhood education.’
That’s all true, but it’s right after that that the lies begin, with TBE declaring:
The statement is not accurate. Our teacher pay in Loudoun is well above the national average. According to the NEA, the average salary for a starting teacher in the US is $36,141 and the average salary in Virginia is $37,848.
The statement is accurate. Jack didn’t say “starting pay.” He said, “teacher pay.” Virginia’s teacher pay averages $48,869, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That’s well below the national average of $56,383. Note also that TBE says, “pay in Loudoun is well above the national average.” But, again, that’s not what Jack said. The excerpt from the Times-Mirror story makes it look that way, but TBE didn’t bother (and/or doesn’t want you to bother) with Jack’s actual statement. Here it is:
Our area is experiencing population growth at a level higher than almost anywhere else in the country. It has put stress on our schools, creating the largest class sizes in the area. Our schools have had to resort to "trailers" out back and there are teachers who must take their supplies from classroom to classroom. My children will attend Virginia public schools in the near future and I want them and every student to attend world-class schools. I will fight to create an environment where all children have the same opportunity to succeed in school, no matter their economic background.
Virginia needs to hire and retain the best teachers with better pay in Virginia. We continue to be well below the national average and risk losing teachers to DC and Maryland if we don’t offer competitive salaries.
Loudoun County is only one of the three counties in the Commonwealth not offering a full day kindergarten and is actively floating a plan to charge parents. I strongly support full day kindergarten and oppose any extra charges to the family. We already pay enough property tax to cover this and Loudoun County needs to prioritize early childhood education.
I want our higher education system to be second to none. This means ensuring everyone has access to a college education, and the best way to do that is to lower tuition costs. Virginia should be open to the proposal from President Obama for free community college, and we must also work to reduce tuition at our four-year institutions.
I also support job training and continuing education programs for adults that provide the skills needed to compete for new well-paying jobs.
Let’s check that part about pay out again:
Virginia needs to hire and retain the best teachers with
better pay in Virginia. We continue to be well below the
national average and risk losing teachers to DC and Maryland
if we don’t offer competitive salaries.
It’s true. What TBE says is just a lie.
Going on, TBE adds this response:
The House of Delegates does not determine if Loudoun has all day kindergarten, that’s a local issue.
Really? Then why did Ramadan, Tag Greason, and nearly every other Republican vote in favor of allowing localities to charge for full-day kindergarten? (Thank you, Del. Minchew, for knowing better, even if you did mistakenly vote the wrong way.)
TBE didn’t bother to respond to what Jack really said, so their lies are understandable, if not forgivable. But, their inability to speak the truth is probably a good reason why you go to newspapers to get your news, and you go to bull elephants to get your bull.