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Virginia school board member loses post over remark about ESL students

Posted at 4:36 PM, Mar 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-01 16:36:07-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - A Virginia Beach school board member has been removed from a state educational working group after she suggested that teaching English to students from South America was unsustainable. Victoria Manning made her comments last week following a school board meeting, news outlet reported. A topic of discussion was the district's growing English as a Second Language program.

Manning wrote on social media that the district “has 300 additional ESL students in the past year. Most are from South America.” She added: “Our ESL budget has increased over $1 million in two years. Continuing to educate South Americans is not sustainable.”

Aimee Guidera, the state's education secretary, condemned Manning’s remarks on Monday and said Manning was no longer part of a working group on innovative education and lab schools..

Guidera said Manning's statements "are in absolute opposition to the Youngkin administration’s commitment to educate and prepare every child in the Commonwealth for success in life.”

Manning said Friday that she was advocating “for sustainability for all students" and later released a statement saying teachers are already overburdened.

She added: "There is a teacher shortage and without teachers and proper funding, the current path is unsustainable.”

About 3% of the student population in Virginia Beach qualifies for ESL services.

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