EXCLUSIVE: Government Liaison For Virginia Superintendents Group Deflects Whether Should Have Consulted All Members For Youngkin Letter

 On the heels of the Virginia Association of School Superintendents (VASS) writing a letter to GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin “on behalf” of 133 public school leaders criticizing his efforts targeting equity programs, without consulting members, the legislative liaison for VASS deflected questions from The Daily Wire on whether all superintendents should have been notified.

“I think the letter was to express concerns that we’ve heard from superintendents from around the state, and to also then say, we would like to move forward,” said Tom Smith, the group’s legislative liaison. “You’ve heard our concerns. We’re concerned about the things listed in the letter.”

When asked if there is a concern among the group that not consulting members correlates to a lack of transparency, like what occurred in the case of the National School Boards Association encouraging the DOJ to treat some parents as “domestic terrorists” without telling state groups, Smith said he “can’t answer for other superintendents.”

“I know what went on at the meeting,” he said, referencing the VASS Board of Directors’ meeting with the Youngkin administration on March 8 to discuss its 30-day report on rescinding equity programs. “I know it was a frank discussion about concerns that they had, but those concerns have been expressed. And now the association and the superintendents are ready to move on to the next step to try to solve some of those issues.”

The letter from VASS called out Youngkin for repealing equity initiatives largely launched by Former Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration, as The Daily Wire reported. The governor signed an executive order on day one barring the teaching and training of critical race theory in public schools. Youngkin launched a tip line for concerned parents in January, which VASS takes issue with.

“Division superintendents disagree with your having rescinded much of the Ed Equity work by the Department of Education,” the letter states. “This work had been completed by many quality educators over a number of years to provide support for the success of children in underserved communities and in select population groups.”

Smith’s comments come just after the group’s executive director Ben Kiser told The Daily Wire, “The VASS Board is elected by the membership to represent the entire membership. The letter is on behalf of the VASS membership.” Kiser was asked why members were not consulted before the controversial letter being issued.

Kiser did not respond to a follow-up request for comment Tuesday afternoon.

Youngkin released a statement this week calling the VASS letter “a gross misrepresentation of what superintendents believe.” Several outlets have moved to clarify that the letter was actually approved by a 12-person board, not 133 superintendents. After the letter was released, many reporters and Democrats pedaled the lie that hundreds of leaders gave authorization for it being sent to the governor.

“Division superintendents disagree with your using ‘equitable outcomes’ as the basis for determining what divisive concepts are and unilaterally suggesting that this approach is discriminatory,” the letter also said.

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