Republican Virginia Gov.-Elect Glenn Youngkin will appoint Elizabeth Schultz–a crusading education reformer who, as a member of the Fairfax County School Board, relentlessly took on ten Democrat colleagues–to the role of Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruction, The Daily Wire has learned.
After being booted from the Fairfax board in 2019 when the board became all-Democrat, Schultz took a job at the Trump administration’s Department of Education. After that, she joined Parents Defending Education, a group of self-styled “mama bears” standing up against indoctrination and school closures that has played a key role in the fight to excise politics from the classroom.
Schultz was first elected to the Fairfax board in 2010, hailing from Clifton, the county’s last remaining rural corner. She entered public service reluctantly after a quest to save her neighborhood elementary school, which the board shuttered abruptly in a process that she found littered with a lack of transparency.
She eventually became an education policy expert with a knack for wading deep into the weeds in order to work from within the system. On the Fairfax board, she helped manage a $3 billion budget, and called the teachers union to heel by forcing an end to a decades-long union-favored policy that shorted elementary schoolers education time by having a half-day every Monday. She also successfully worked to restore honors classes after a prior board had eliminated them.
Schultz, who was born in Richmond and grew up as a military brat, is also a mother of four who has experience navigating the special education system.
But she is best known for presciently warning, throughout the mid-2010s, of all of the educational problems that would later become obvious to the general populace. Though she was attacked by Democrats and ignored by even many Republicans who, at the time, were not paying attention to schools, Schultz fought for the school system to focus on core academics, to use objective data to evaluate efficacy, and to assign more weight to parental feedback.
She often did so with a combination of rigorous research and sarcastic wit, mercilessly ridiculing the Democrat board for its obsession with agendas like “menstrual equity”–a quest to restore tampons to elementary school bathrooms after they were removed, as she pointed out, because they were used primarily for pranks.
In October 2021, she returned as a citizen to speak before the board she once sat on, blasting its members before they cut off her mic as parents cheered for her.
As a mom I’m here to tell you you have one job: provide education for the children of Fairfax County with the best degree of academic excellence possible. It is not to expose children to your political or ideological viewpoints. …
It is not to expose children to sexually explicit material in the classroom or the library. Politicizing the education of children is bad. Indoctrinating a child to look at each other as oppressor or oppressed… is bad. Porn for kids is bad!
You consistently demonstrate your hostility to parental concerns. You suppress, mock, or wholly ignore the voice of parents. …
You do not value diversity unless it is your approved and then compelled definition. You do not value inclusion; you pervert the very meaning by excluding parents who do not toe your ideological line. …
We the parents, we the people, are mad as hell and we’re not going to take it any more. We’re not going anywhere. For years on this board I fought to increase the visibility of what’s in our curriculum. I am telling you, stop peddling porn to our kids, it’s child abuse! Stop making children hate each other, it’s racist! Stop teaching children revisionist history, it’s lying!
While on the board, Schultz demanded that her peers focus on increasing math, science, and reading scores, rather than social justice initiatives, while also expressing support for investing in programs that she said could help promote achievement, such as universal pre-K.
“Elizabeth is passionate about effective education and public policy development which champions academic excellence for all students, respects parental rights and student data privacy, and encourages citizen engagement, transparency and accountability, and fiscally responsible limited government,” the Youngkin administration said.
“She has championed promoting civics and digital citizenship education, expanding cybersecurity and technical-readiness skills to protect private industry, systems, and critical infrastructure, and ensuring college, life, and work-readiness for students of all abilities,” it added.