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Statement on Jillian Balow’s Resignation

By 1 March 2023March 27th, 2023No Comments

March 1, 2023
Media contact: Zowee Aquino ( / 757-842-0138)

This morning, Jillian Balow resigned as Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction. During her year-long tenure, Balow hijacked a democratic process and ignored two years of work from 200+ experts and over 5000+ Virginians to recruit primarily out-of-state conservative consultants to rewrite Virginia’s history standards. The resulting SOL drafts continue to be unacceptable in that historically-excluded communities continue to be excluded. She ended all equity initiatives in Virginia public schools. And, she allowed $201 million to go missing from the Virginia Public Schools budget. These are not the actions of an educator that values or respects Virginia’s public schools, students, or communities. 

Virginians deserve a Superintendent who wants to help all students succeed, and will do so with consideration to external factors that impact students’ learning like region, race, and income. Hamkae Center hopes that the future Superintendent will listen to the public and not just a select few they deem “worthy” of being heard. We hope they act with transparency, instead of skirting defined processes and lying about it. We hope that they will use their leadership to advance an agenda to strengthen public education instead of advancing political agendas to erode public education. We need a Superintendent who will stick up for all students’ well-being.

Hamkae Center is a community-based organization with a mission to organize Asian Americans in Virginia to achieve social, economic, and racial justice. Alongside its community members, Hamkae Center works to build a future in which low- and middle-income, immigrant, people of color, and all marginalized communities can fully participate in U.S. society and work together as makers of lasting change.
We are the Virginia affiliate of the NAKASEC Network. Other members include HANA Center (Illinois), Woori Center (Pennsylvania), MinKwon Center for Community Action (New York), and Woori Juntos (Texas).