Richmond, VA – Second-time Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe criticized the number of white teachers in the state, and promised to provide full scholarships with housing to non-white students who are willing to become teachers.
“I promise you, we’ve got to diversify our teacher base here in Virginia,” McAuliffe told the rally. “Fifty percent of students at Virginia schools – K through 12 – 50 percent are students of color, and yet 80 percent of the teachers are white.”
“We all know what we have to do in a school to make everybody feel comfortable in school. So let’s diversify,” McAuliffe continued.
“So, here’s what I’m going to do,” he told his supporters. “We’ll be the first state in America – if you’ll teach for five years here in Virginia in a high-demand area, whether that be geographic or course work, we will pay room, board, and tuition at any college, any university, any HBCU [historically black colleges and universities] here in the commonwealth of Virginia.”
McAuliffe's closing message: Va has too many white teachers
“50% of the students at Va. schools K-12, 50% are students of color & yet 80 percent of teachers are white. We all know what we have to do in a school to make everybody feel comfortable in school. So, let’s diversify" pic.twitter.com/TJC2beResW
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) November 1, 2021
Some well-known civil rights activists questioned and criticized McAuliffe’s approach.
Bob Woodson, a civil rights veteran and president of The Woodson Center, told FOX News that what McAuliffe was proposing was “explicitly and implicitly a racist approach to education.”
“The assumption is that in order to recruit more Black teachers that you’ve got to subsidize candidates in order for them to teach, they’re not offering this to white candidates,” Woodson explained.
He said McAuliffe was making the assumption that black students “need subsidies to teach,” FOX News reported.
“It’s really insulting, too,” Woodson added. “Why is he talking about providing special assistance to teachers, candidates, and then talking about HBCUs? That’s more than a [racist] dog whistle — that’s a dog megaphone.”
McAuliffe has repeatedly said that critical race theory (CRT) was not being taught in Virginia schools and claimed concerns about it amounted to a “racist dog whistle,” FOX News reported.
Woodson, who is black, pointed out that McAuliffe’s race-based approach to recruiting more teachers reflected CRT.
“Everything he says echoes critical race theory,” the civil rights veteran said. “It automatically operates on the assumption that the most important aspect of our lives is race.”
Woodson told FOX News that a good education program “has nothing to do with the color of the teacher or the color of the student. It has to do with the presence of excellence.”
McAuliffe has repeatedly made headlines for his controversial statements about education during his campaign, the New York Post reported.
On Sept. 28, he said “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach” when he was asked about parents complaints about sexually-explicit books.
He has also struggled with the fact checkers.
McAuliffe has previously claimed that his opponent, Republican Glenn Youngkin, was trying to have books authored by black writers banned from Virginia schools, NBC News reported.
“He is closing his campaign on banning books,” McAuliffe said on Meet the Press on Oct. 31. “He wants to ban Toni Morrison’s book ‘Beloved’ he’s going after one of the most preeminent African American female writers in American history, won the Nobel Prize, has a Presidential Medal of Freedom, and he wants her books banned. Now, of all the hundreds of books you could look at, why did you pick the one Black female author? Why did you do it?”
The former governor, who is going for a second term, claimed during the gubernatorial debate against Youngkin that he had vetoed two bills during his prior administration that would have allowed parents to have books they disagreed with taken off the shelves of public schools, The Washington Post reported.
And McAuliffe told voters that Youngkin was “ending his campaign on a racist dog whistle, just like he started the campaign when he talks about election integrity,” NBC News reported.
But The Washington Post fact-checked McAuliffe’s claims and said that the former governor didn’t even accurately remember what legislation he’d vetoed and said that those bills had to do with instructional materials and not books.