Fighting for Our Schools

Investing in Teachers and Schools

Our students deserve great teachers and schools that create a strong learning environment.

  • Too many teachers are leaving the profession due to low pay, which leads to overcrowded class sizes and hurts our students. We must increase teacher pay, and I am running for State Senate because the state government holds the greatest ability to do so.
  • We must invest in modernizing our school facilities and expanding where neccesary to reduce overcrowding.
  • We also need to fund early childhood education and work to alleviate the burdensome cost of healthcare.

Stella’s Record: On the School Board, Stella has worked to use all available resources to increase teacher pay and facilities funding. Stella has allocated over $100 million in funding for teacher pay increases and for school infrastructure upgrades in the 36th District. Since the School Board relies on external funding, Stella is running for State Senate to finish the job of fully funding our schools.

Serving Every Student

No two students are the same, and every one ought to be set up to succeed. 

  • As a mother of six and former ESOL teacher, I know that a one size fits all approach to education really fits none.
  • I support expanding programs to serve students with special needs, English language learners, and high-achieving students.

Stella’s Record: On the School Board, Stella has led the effort to create a policy for educational equity, expanded the capacity of programs to serve gifted students, and worked to close opportunity gaps. Prior to joining the school board, Stella advocated for enrichment programs and developmentally-appropriate recess time. Stella began her career as an ESOL teacher at Poplar Tree Elementary.

Fighting Youngkin's Attacks on Education

I will fight back against Glenn Youngkin’s right-wing agenda to dismantle public education. 

  • Youngkin’s war on schools has been relentless. He has attempted to ban books and whitewash our history, made hundred-million dollar mistakes in the education budget, and sought to put control of our schools in the hands of political appointees, not parents, teachers, and community members.
  • We cannot ban books simply because they expose students to diverse perspectives.
  • I will bring a teacher’s voice, a mother’s voice, and a School Board member’s voice to the State Senate to stop this radical agenda.

Stella’s Record: On the School Board, Stella led the successful lawsuit against Youngkin’s overreaching attempt to strip local control from our schools during his first week in office. Stella has spoken out and fought back against attempts to restrict the teaching of our diverse history.

Protecting Our Rights

Abortion Rights & Reproductive Health

I am 100% pro-choice, and I will always fight for the right to access reproductive healthcare. 

  • As a mother to three young daughters, I will stand up to anti-choice Republicans in Richmond to ensure their generation has the same rights as mine.
  • We must codify the right to an abortion in the Virginia Constitution.

Stella’s Record: As a volunteer with BRAWS (Bringing Resources to Aid Women’s Shelters), Stella helped expand access to menstrual products for women across Virginia. On the School Board, Stella has helped pass comprehensive sex education and Title IX instruction policies. Stella is proudly endorsed by Vote Pro Choice, Repro Rising Virginia, Planned Parenthood Virginia, and others in recognition of her record.

Climate Change & the Environment

Every Virginian deserves a clean environment, and we must secure the same future for our next generation. 

  • I will not accept contributions from state-regulated polluters, such as Dominion Energy, and I support a ban on such contributions.
  • We must implement and continue to improve upon the Virginia Clean Energy Act to secure a transition to 100% renewable energy.
  • We should use the transition to clean energy as a chance to create high-quality jobs and lower energy costs for Virginia families.

Stella’s Record: On the School Board, Stella has supported electrification of the FCPS school bus fleet and invested hundreds of millions in new, more energy-efficient school facilities.

Gun Violence Prevention

No member of our community should fear losing their life, or their loved ones, to gun violence. 

  • I support an assault weapons ban and a ban on high-capacity magazines, because weapons of war do not belong in our communities.
  • Background checks for gun owners are a commonsense safety measure. Virginia must end concealed carry reciprocity for out-of-state gun owners from states without strong, universal background checks.

Stella’s Record: On the School Board, Stella closed loopholes to ensure that no guns ever enter school property, and worked to expand the gun violence prevention curriculum. Stella is a Moms Demand Action Gun Sense candidate in recognition of this record.

Voting Rights & Clean Government

Our democratic process should first and foremost serve our communities, not our corporations.

  • I support recent reforms to ease registration and mail voting in Virginia and support the continued expansion of ways to register to vote and cast your ballot.
  • Voters should choose their elected officials, not the other way around. It’s time to create a depoliticized process to end gerrymandering in Virginia.
  • Virginia’s campaign finance laws allow corporate special interests to drown out other voices. I support campaign finance reform, including caps on gifts from lobbyists and a ban on donations from publicly-regulated corporations, such as Dominion Energy.
  • We must also prohibit politicians from using campaign funds for personal use.

Stella’s Record: Stella has never accepted, and will never accept, contributions from publicly regulated utilities. On the School Board, Stella lowered the cap on acceptable gifts to FCPS staff members. Stella is endorsed by Clean Virginia, reflecting a shared dedication to reducing corporate influence over politics.

Workers' Rights

Every worker deserves a well-paying job and fundamental workplace protections. 

  • Unions are a powerful force for protecting workers. I support repealing Virginia’s so-called “right-to-work” law and I will work to facilitate collective bargaining agreements and project labor agreements that create high-quality jobs.
  • Public jobs belong in the public sector. I oppose efforts to privatize public education and similar public services.
  • Every worker should have the right to paid sick leave and paid family leave – and I’m proud to have the Family Friendly Virginia seal of approval in reflection of those values.
  • We must raise Virginia’s minimum wage to $15 per hour.

Stella’s Record: On the School Board, Stella cosponsored a unanimously-passed resolution to give FCPS staff collective bargaining rights. Stella has supported paid family and medical leave for all FCPS employees. Stella is a former union member and a member of a union family.