Recent Media Coverage of VBEA PACE Endorsements

You may have seen WVEC Channel 13’s coverage this weekend of the endorsements made by the VBEA Political Action Committee of Educators (PACE). Due to what was included in their broadcast, and posted to their website, I feel it is important to clarify the relationship between VBEA and VBEA PACE, and some of the statements reported.

First, you should know that your membership in VBEA, and the dues paid for your membership, does not go to support political action by VBEA PACE. Members are encouraged to organize and have a voice in local, statewide, and national elections through our associated political action committees. Those political action committees are separate organizations, funded directly by contributions by association members, separate from dues dollars. You can find out more about political action on our website by clicking here.

That being said, the endorsements made by VBEA PACE generally reflect the concerns of VBEA members. While the issue of Saturday makeups for snow days was the focus of WVEC’s reporting as a reason for why VBEA PACE did, or did not, endorse certain candidates, I want to be clear that this issue is one example of many issues, over many years, that were factored into endorsement decisions. It’s clearly understood that some VBEA members may not agree with endorsements made by VBEA PACE. All members are encouraged to make decisions on who to vote for based on their experience and conscience. They are also encouraged to be a part of the process of endorsing candidates ahead of election day, as endorsements are voted on by VBEA members who have contributed to VBEA PACE.

Finally, I want to clarify a reported statement from me regarding division administration not listening to concerns of parents and teachers. This statement was based on my past experience, both as a teacher, and as the President of the VBEA. I should have been more specific. Since Dr. Spence has taken over as VBCPS Superintendent, I have spoken to him often and I genuinely believe that past trends of being unresponsive to division employees and the public will not continue. Things have been, and I believe will continue to get, better.

The Virginia Beach Education Association is dedicated to working with the school board, school administration, and division employees to made Virginia Beach City Public Schools the best school division in the nation. This can only happen when all involved are willing to work together, with open minds, with a focus on this goal.

Trenace Riggs
President, Virginia Beach Education Association