Hanover County Democratic Committee

Moving Hanover Forward

How much do we value Educators?

by Steve Johnson

I know all of you are having an absolute fit every morning when you wake up, scroll over your phone or turn on the news to the Trump Outrage of the Day/Hour/Moment. It’s so easy to get worked up about it, to yell, scream and fire off an angry email or phone call to a congressman or a senator. 

Which you should continue to do. That’s all well and good. But remember, the 2020 election is still more than a year away. We have some work to do in the meantime — namely, elect our great candidates to the General Assembly so they can tip the delicate scale in the state Senate and House of Delegates in our favor. 

If you need some motivation to do something positive instead of a rant about something negative, I have two words for you: teacher salaries. In the Northam administration, we are seeing some of the best gains in teacher salaries since the 1980s. Those of you with long memories will recall that Chuck Robb campaigned way back in 1981 on raising teacher salaries in Virginia to the national median, and beyond. It was a winning formula then, but as Republicans took control of the House of Delegates and the Senate (save five years) in this millennium, Virginia has been losing ground in the ability to compensate the people we entrust with our children’s learning.

Take a look at the numbers that the Virginia Department of Education puts out. Since 2006, Virginia has topped the national median only once, and it’s generally been in 30th place nationally in compensating teachers. That’s North Dakota, Maine, and Montana territory, not to cast aspersions on those fine states. In 2017-18, Virginia was 34th nationally in average teacher salaries, about $650 more than (gasp!) Alabama. From 2009 to 2016, the average teacher salary in Virginia increased by 0.61 percent a year, hardly enough to keep up with just about anything.

To be sure, economic conditions, tight state and local budgets, and the difference between suburban and rural parts of the state all come into play. But there’s no mistaking the trendline. That’s why Gov. Northam pitched an additional $88 million to bump teacher salaries up by 5 percent. “Raising teacher pay is one step to securing the quality of our K-12 education system for years to come,” he said. Thank you, governor.

How about our own Hanover? Many factors are at play, but the fact is the average Hanover teacher salary was $47,479 in 2009; five years later it had gained only about $800. But for 2019, the average budgeted salary in Hanover exceeded the state budgeted average for the first time in recorded history ($59,051 versus $58,7149, according to state data). That’s a trendline to be proud of. But even then, it’s tempered by the realization that salaries stagnate after several years of service — longevity doesn’t seem to be as high on the list as it should be — so we lose experienced educators to other jurisdictions. 

You can do a lot of things with statistics, but the teacher salary numbers are pretty clear. Guns and health care are likely to dominate this fall’s debate for the General Assembly, and well they should. But teachers have a day-to-day effect on every single child they encounter and to shortchange them is to shortchange our kids. It’s another reason to ignore the national-level blather for a spell and work on the task at hand — giving Gov. Northam more support and more tools to raise educational attainment in Virginia.

Court Challenge To Confederate Names—Hear About It At Our Next Meeting

Don’t miss our next meeting on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 10 a.m. at Ashland Coffee & Tea when the State and local branch President of the NAACP, Robert Barnette, will discuss the court suit against Hanover County and the School Board seeking a name change for two county schools. The two schools are named after Confederate leaders, Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis (Lee-Davis High School) and Stonewall Jackson (Stonewall Jackson Middle School). This recently filed suit by the Washington Lawyers Group on behalf of the Hanover Branch NAACP could be precedent-setting for schools and buildings throughout the South. This is a timely and exciting discussion you don’t want to miss. As always, the coffee is on us.

Also, get candidate updates from the candidates or their campaign staff. We have 9 wonderful candidates. Let’s do everything we can to support these candidates. Let’s take back the Senate, take back the House, and win more seats on the Board of Supervisors! We can do it! See you Saturday, Sept. 14 at 10 a.m. at Ashland Coffee & Tea.

Coffee Meeting

Coffee is brewing!

Wednesday, August 28 at 6:30 PM

At the house of

Wendy Brooks

6034 Grapevine Bridge Drive

Mechanicsville, VA 23111

Men's Forum

at the home of

Tom Hicks

15690 St Peters Road, Montpelier

Wednesday, September 25 at 7:00 pm

Mens Forum


Schedule Of Events for Hanover Democratic Candidates 



Morgan Goodman/Stan Scott
 - Canvass, Ladysmith Library Parking Lot, Ruther Glen, noon-3pm.  RSVP: https://www.mobilize.us/goodmanforvirginia/event/116395/
Morgan Goodman/Debra Rodman/Crystal Robens - Canvass with Crystal, location TBD, noon-3pm.  For location, contact Ashley at 804.651.8342 or ashley.hall@takethemajority.orgLasseire@gmail.com
Morgan Goodman - Meet & Greet, Ashland, 4-6pm.  RSVP:  https://www.mobilize.us/goodmanforvirginia/event/113661/
 James Doran/Stan Scott/Kevin Washington - Canvassing, Phone Banking, Postcard Party, Mechanicsville, Colleen Berry's home, 1-4pm.  Contact Colleen at Lasseire@gmail.com ;for address.


Morgan Goodman
- Phone Banking, Ashland Library, 6-8:30pm. RSVP: https://www.mobilize.us/goodmanforvirginia/event/113613/
Morgan Goodman/Stan Scott - Caroline County Branch NAACP Candidate Forum, Caroline County Community Center, 17202 Richmond Turnpike, Milford, 7pm
James Doran - Community Meeting on High Speed Internet Expansion, New Bethesda Baptist Church, 9019 New Bethesda Rd., Mechanicsville, 6:30-8pm


James Doran
- Meet & Greet, Susan Tate's home in Pebble Creek, 6:30-8pm. Contact Louise at lsmithevans@comcast.net for address


Morgan Goodman
 - Meet & Greet, Mechanicsville, 7-8:30pm. RSVP:  https://www.mobilize.us/goodmanforvirginia/event/118414/


Clara Scott
- Field Day of the Past - Capture the Memory, 1741 Ashland Rd., Rockville, noon-6pm


Coordinated Campaign
- Postcard Party, Mechanicsville Library, 10-1pm
Morgan Goodman/James Doran/Stan Scott/Kevin Washington - Canvassing, Mechanicsville Library, 10-1pm RSVP:  https://mobilize.us/goodmanforvirginia/event/121423/


Morgan Goodman/Crystal Robens/Stan Scott 
- Canvass, Beaverdam, 2-5pm.  RSVP for location:  https://www.mobilie.us/goodmanforvirginia/event/121423
HDC Women's Coffee/James Doran/Kevin Washington
- 6034 Grapevine Bridge Dr. (Wendy Brooks' home) Mechanicsville, 2pm


Morgan Goodman - Phone Banking, Ashland Library, 6-8:30pm.  RSVP: https://www.mobilize.us/goodmanforvirginia/event/113613/


Crystal Robens - Campaign Mailing Party, Ashland, 6pm.  RSVP:  https://secure.actblue.com/donate/beaverdam  


James Doran/Stan Scott/Kevin Washington - Canvassing, Phone Banking, Postcard party, 1-4 pm.  Contact Colleen at lasseire@gmail.com ;for location

OCTOBER 14 - Last day to register to vote.

OCTOBER 16 - ChamberRVA Candidate Public Forum for the BOS (Board of Supervisors) Candidates, Birdsong Hall, Randolph Macon College, 6-8pm, 6-8pm

OCTOBER 18 & 19 - Candidates will be at Hanover County Parks and Rec, Taylor's SpookieFUN Fest, Poor Farm Park


Note: Coordinated Campaign means the event is for all 9 candidates running in Hanover County


James Doran, Board of Supervisors (BOS) Cold Harbor District - Contact Louise at lsmithevans@comcast.net if  you would like to write postcards from home.

Morgan Goodman, House of Delegates 55th District, Contact Iyla at iyla@goodmanfordelegate.com ;if you would like to do phone banking from home. 

Jennifer McClellan
, Senate 9th District - contact Ngiste Abede (ngiste@jennifermcclellan.com)

Faye Prichard
, BOS Ashland District (fayeprichard.com)

Crystal Robens
, BOS Beaverdam District (crystal@crystalrobens.com)

Debra Rodman
, Senate 12th District.  Contact Ilana Beller at ibeller@takethemajority19.org ;or Ashley Hall at Ashley.hall@takethemajority19.org ;or 804.651.8342.  If you can't make Ashley's schedule,and want to canvass, contact Ashley.

Clara Scott
, BOS South Anna District (cscottforsupervisor@gmail.com) or 804.719.1805 or Chaz Nuttycombe (nuttycombechaz@gmail.com) or 804.301.3390

Stan Scott
, Senate 4th District.  Contact Madison at Madison@stanforvirginia.org ;or 804.592.8426 or Lucas at lucas@stanforvirginia.org. ; Contact Colleen at lasseire@gmail.com ;if you would like to write postcards from home.

Kevin Washington
, House of Delegates 97th District (info@kevinforvirginia.org ;or 804.873.3882).  Fighting for US!  Vote for Kevin Washington in the 97th.  Contact Colleen at lasseire@gmail.com 
;if you would like to write postcards from home.