Delegate M. Kirkland “Kirk” Cox (R – Colonial Heights), a retired 30 year school teacher and Co-Chair of the Governor’s ALL STUDENTS Agenda Summit, encourages teachers to apply for the newly created Governor’s Teacher Cabinet. The Cabinet, comprised of teachers from across the Commonwealth, will advise the Governor and Secretary of Education on policies related to the status of teaching in Virginia.
The Cabinet will focus on strategies for enhancing teacher quality, leadership, and professionalism for 21st Century learning. Cox stated that he believes, “the Teachers Cabinet will help ensure continued input from the classroom level as Virginia implements the most comprehensive elementary and secondary education reform legislation in decades.” The Cabinet will provide an annual report to the Governor on the “State of Teaching in Virginia.”
“Teachers are in a great position to offer advice and input that will improve our educational system,” Cox said. “I am confident that their invaluable advice will help ensure every child in our schools can receive a top-quality education.”
The Executive Order signed on May 1st this year created the Teacher’s Cabinet as just one of the ALL STUDENTS Agenda items. The K-12 Education Reform Agenda included more than 39 bills, budget amendments, and Executive Orders. Several key pieces of legislation passed that recognize and reward excellent teachers by placing a high priority on innovation, flexibility, and accountability in our classrooms.
Cox stated he was “very pleased to be the Chief Patron for two bills that support the Reform Agenda at the classroom level. One bill provides for an innovative compensation plan that will give localities the flexibility to reward teachers based on a comprehensive evaluation process. This program will reward our great teachers.”
The General Assembly and the Governor approved $7.5 million to fund this effort which could give as many as 1,500 teachers a compensation bonus of up to $5,000. Cox’s other bill supports the Teach for America program that will help ensure Virginia gets the best and brightest of our next generation into classrooms of hard-to-staff schools. This program attracts applicants who are in the top 10 percent of their college classes or hold student leadership positions.
Teachers can apply for the Teacher Cabinet online by May 15. Applications are online at http://solutions.virginia.gov/OASYS. Teachers must also submit two letters of recommendation, one from an administrator and one from a student or parent. When using the online form, teachers should select ‘Designated’ under secretariat heading and then ‘Governor’s Teacher Cabinet’ under boards and commissions.
Cox, who also serves as the House Majority Leader, represents the 66th House District that includes Colonial Heights and southern/western Chesterfield County.