Youngkin Town Hall: What To Expect


Governor Glenn Youngkin is set to appear on CNN’s Town Hall Mar 9, where he will answer questions on his education policies that have recently gotten scrutinized by local and national media outlets.

The Town Hall, called “The War Over Education with Governor Glenn Youngkin,” is set to premiere on CNN on March 9 at 9 pm. The discussion will be in a live setting, where CNN chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper will moderate as the governor will answer questions from the live studio audience in Washington DC.

According to the CNN website, the media outlet promises expected viewers that they will hear directly from parents, teachers, students, and stakeholders about education and the issues that matter the most to families in Virginia and across the nation. The issue of education propelled Youngkin into the national spotlight by winning the gubernatorial election in 2021 to become governor of the Commonwealth. He ran on a platform against diversity initiatives and political indoctrination.

Youngkin is not shy from controversy. As soon as he set foot in the governor’s mansion in Richmond, he signed an executive order that banned public schools from teaching critical race theory. In the fall of 2022, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) came out with model policies that directed all 133 of Virginia’s school districts to adopt guidelines directing transgender students to school facilities and programs that match their birth sex. The proposed policies also required parental permission for students to change their name and gender on official school documents.

In January 2023, the Youngkin administration came out with revised history standards, causing a public uproar. Developed over the course of a few months, some of the statements in the standards raised concerns. The documents described Native Americans as America’s first immigrants, disregarded Martin Luther King Jr Day from school holidays, and erased learning about Africa and Asia from the elementary school curriculum. VDOE spokesman Charles Pyle refused to answer questions about if conservative institutions played a part in drafting the new standards, and if so, how much.

Despite the history standards being revised in January 2023, Youngkin asked his education secretary a month later to review the proposed AP African American History course, citing potential critical race theory teachings.

The day of the Town Hall also marks a departure in the Youngkin administration. Virginia Superintendent of Instruction Jillian Balow resigned last Wednesday after the VDOE came under fire for a calculation mistake. The department made an error in calculating state aid for K-12 schools, meaning schools would receive $200 million dollars less than expected. 

Many critics have speculated that Youngkin is gearing up for a 2024 presidential run, pointing at the Town Hall as an example. He spent much of last year touring around the United States campaigning for Republican candidates, pointing to his 2021 gubernatorial win as an example. Although Youngkin insisted in an interview with NBC News that he is focused on Virginia and what voters elected him to do, he did not outright state whether he would commit to running. 

If interested in asking Governor Youngkin education related questions, the link to the form is: CNN TOWN HALL:  GOVERNOR GLENN YOUNGKIN AND THE BATTLE OVER EDUCATION (